What Was ‘Thracian’ in the Cult of Dionysos in Roman Thrace?

  • Marta Oller Guzmán Departament de Ciències de l’Antiguitat i de l’Edat Mitjana Edifici B – Campus de la UAB Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona ES-08193 Bellaterra (Cerdanyola del Vallès)
Keywords: Herodotus, oracle, wine, fire, Herakles, mystic associations


The cult of Dionysos in Thrace is well attested in literary and epigraphic sources through a long period of time, from the first evidences in the 5th century BC to the Roman times. This long-standing tradition is far from being straightforward: whereas Herodotus’ statement on the Thracian cult of Dionysos (5.7) seems to suggest that it had specific forms and contents, a good deal of Roman imperial evidence may indicate that a considerable portion of the cult had adopted common Greek features. This paper seeks to investigate whether there were specific fields where the Thracian character of this cult still remained during the Roman age.