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θίασος). The Greek designation of a society which had selected some god for its patron, and held sacrifices, festal processions, and banquets at stated times in his honour. Frequently the members of such societies, which took their name either from their divine patron or else from the days of festal celebration, pursued other common ends, sometimes of business, sometimes of social life. The name thiasus was especially applied to the festivals in honour of Dionysus, and, in the representations of poetry and art, to the mythical retinue of the god, which consisted of Sileni, Satyrs, Nymphs, and Maenads.

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