meant originally a fox
Isis with Basilium. (Wilkinson, |
iii. p. 233.)
Lycophr. 771; cf. βασσάριον
). In the Egyptian hieroglyphics, the fox is called wasar,
(Schwartz, Das alte Aegypten,
971); and Egyptian priests are
found represented in
Bassara, dress of a Bacchante. (From a Greek vase in the British
what seem to be fox-skins, when officiating (Rosellini, vol. ii.
plate lxiv. ; Lepsius, Denkmäler,
Accordingly, the word probably came from Egypt, was carried by Phoenician
merchants to Cyrene (Hesych. sub voce
), and hence to Lydia and Thrace
Lycophr. 771, 1343), where it
appears as the dress of the Bacchanals. It is described as variegated, and
reaching down to the feet (Bekk. Anecd.
222, 26; cf. Aesch.
Poll. 9.59); but Lenormant supposes that the
was applied to the long robe
as fastened in with a fox-skin, wound round the upper part of the body, and
that the whole costume got its name from the fox-skin fastening. Bassareus
was a name given to the Lydian Dionysus, but there is no genuine Hellenic
example of a fox in connexion with Dionysus as it appears on Lydian coins.
The name βασσάρα
was also given to a kind
of shoe (Etym. Magn.
s. v.) worn by the Lydian Bassareus and
made of fox-skin, as that of the Greek Dionysus was of fawn-skin. (See
Lenormant in D. and S.; S. Reinisch in Pauly, and Schultz in Roscher's
Ausführl. Lexikon der griech. und röm.