There can be little doubt that the following passage, like the few others where Dionysos is mentioned in H. (14.325, Od. 11.325, cf. Od. 24.74), dates from the very latest part of the Epic period. Dionysos is an absolute stranger to the Homeric pantheon. The legend of Lykoergos is one of a series which tell of the introduction of the orgiastic worship of Dionysos, the opposition it encountered, and the punishment inflicted on those who withstood it. The cult was of the nature of a mystic and spiritual revival, and passed into Greece from Thrace. In the present passage it is at home, for Lykoergos was king of the Edones, Soph. Ant. 955.This great religious movement spread over Greece apparently in the 7th cent. From its nature it cannot but have aroused the bitterest antagonism among the established authorities. It is highly probable that it absorbed, and in form was coloured by, more or less related popular village customs springing from a primitive nature and vegetation worship (Bather in J. H. S. xiv. 244 sqq.), but that in this more spiritual form it was essentially foreign there can be little doubt (see Rohde Psyche 299 ff., and passim). Other forms of the legend occur in Thebes (Pentheus), Patrae (Paus.vii. 18. 3), Orchomenos (Minyadae), Argos (Proitidae). Of the forms Λυκόεργος and “Λυκόοργος”, the latter is defended by van L. on the ground that it is derived from the verb “ϝέργειν” (arcere) not from “ϝέργον”. But cf. “ἑκάεργος”. The ordinary ‘Epic diectasis’ would account for “-οο-” but not for “-οε-”. In the oracle in Herod.i. 65 the balance of authority seems to be for “-οε-”.
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