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Σαβάζιος). A Thracian and Phrygian deity, whom the Greeks usually identified with Dionysus (Diod.iv. 4), and sometimes also with Zeus. His orgiastic worship was very closely connected with that of the Phrygian mother of the gods, Rhea-Cybelé, and of Attis. Along with this it was introduced into Athens in the fifth century B.C. (Vespae, 9; Lysistr. 388; Demos. De Cor. 260). In later times it was widely spread in Rome and Italy, especially in the latter days of paganism. Like many of the Oriental deities, he represented the flourishing life of nature, which sinks in death, always to rise again. As an emblem of the yearly renovation of nature, the symbol specially appropriated to him was the snake. Accordingly, at the celebration of his mysteries, a golden snake was passed under the clothes and drawn over the bosom of the initiated (Clemens Alexandr. Protrept. p. 6). In the Characteres of Theophrastus, when the superstitious man “sees a serpent in his house, if it be the red snake, he will invoke Sabazius” (ch. 28, ed. Jebb).

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