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But this god is a prophet—for Bacchic revelry and madness have in them much prophetic skill. [300] For whenever the god enters a body in full force, he makes the frantic to foretell the future. He also possesses a share of Ares' nature. For terror sometimes flutters an army under arms and in its ranks before it even touches a spear; [305] and this too is a frenzy from Dionysus. You will see him also on the rocks of Delphi, bounding with torches through the highland of two peaks, leaping and shaking the Bacchic branch, mighty throughout Hellas. But believe me, Pentheus; [310] do not boast that sovereignty has power among men, nor, even if you think so, and your mind is diseased, believe that you are being at all wise. Receive the god into your land, pour libations to him, celebrate the Bacchic rites, and garland your head.

Dionysus will not compel women [315] to be modest in regard to Aphrodite, but in nature [modesty dwells always] you must look for that. For she who is modest will not be corrupted in Bacchic revelry. Do you see? You rejoice whenever many people are at your gates, [320] and the city extols the name of Pentheus. He too, I think, delights in being honored. Kadmos, whom you mock, and I will crown our heads with ivy and dance, a gray yoke-team but still we must dance; [325] and I will not be persuaded by your words to fight against the god. For you are mad in a most grievous way, and you will not be cured by drugs, nor are you sick without them.

Chorus Leader
Old man, you do not shame Phoebus with your words, and honoring Dionysus, a great god, you are prudent.

[330] My child, Teiresias has advised you well. Dwell with us, not apart from the laws. For now you flit about and have thoughts without thinking. Even if, as you say, he is not a god, call him one; and tell a glorious falsehood, [335] so that Semele might seem to have borne a god, and honor might come to all our race. You see the wretched fate of Actaeon, who was torn apart in the meadows by the blood-thirsty hounds he had raised, [340] having boasted that he was superior in the hunt to Artemis. May you not suffer this. Come, let me crown your head with ivy; honor the god along with us.

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