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The Bacchae

The Bacchae

by Euripides

Foreignness and 'the Other' Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

Dionysus:
"All Asia is mine, […]
But in the land of Hellas
this city Thebes is the is the first place I have visited." (1)

In case you don't know, Hellas is another word for Greece. Dionysus is pointing out here that he's spread his religion all over Asia, but that Thebes is the first city in Greece to get a taste of his lively rituals. By Euripides's time, Dionysus was a considered a totally legit god, but back in the day, the religion probably seemed like a bizarre foreign invader.

Quote #2

Dionysus:
Onwards! My women of Tmolus, you bulwark of Lydia,
you, my sisterhood of worshipers,
whom I led from foreign lands" (1)

The Bacchae is full of dualities and paradoxes. Here's one of them. Dionysus is the son of a Greek woman and a Greek god. Though he's Greek through and through, his religion and his battalion of followers come from Asia. In a way, Dionysus is native and foreign at the same time.

Quote #3

Chorus:
"From the purlieus of Asia I come
Deserting Tmolus the holy." (2)

The ladies of the Chorus have left everything they know for Dionysus. He's plucked them from their homeland on the mountain of Tmolus and taken them to a foreign land to spread their religion. The fact that they've come so far from home shows the depth of their devotion.

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