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Πενθεύς). The son of Echion by Agavé, daughter of Cadmus. He was the successor of Cadmus as king of Thebes, and on the introduction of the Bacchic worship resisted it. It is said that Pentheus concealed himself in a tree in order to witness secretly the orgies of the Bacchanals, and on being discovered by them was taken for a wild beast, and torn in pieces by his own mother and his two sisters, Ino and Autonoë, in their Bacchic frenzy. The scene of this occurrence was said to be Mount Cithaeron or Mount Parnassus. The story forms the subject of the Bacchae of Euripides. (See Euripides.) The Corinthians had a tradition that the tree in which Pentheus hid was afterwards carved into images of the god Dionysus and worshipped (Pausan. ii. 6, 6). Hence some have tried to connect the story of Pentheus with the primitive tree-worship.

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