While the pace of such introductions had gathered rapidly during the 3rd century, contemporary evidence of the Bacchanalia reform betrays no anti-Greek or anti-foreign policy or sentiment. When his worshippers killed a bull and ate it, therefore, they were symbolically killing the god and partaking of his flesh and blood, thus securing for themselves a portion of the god's life-giving and fertilizing influence. They were restored when the ferocity of reaction eased, but in approved, much modified form.  Gender seems to have motivated the Senate's response no more than any other cause. Bacchus, Liber and Dionysus became virtually interchangeable from the late Republican era ( 133 BC and onward ), and their mystery cults persisted well into the Principate of Roman Imperial era. Once an investigation was launched by the Senate, it hired Spurius Postumius Albinus and Quintus Marcius Philippus to overthrow what was believed to be just a simple conspiracy. , For Livy, the cult's greatest offences arose from indiscriminate mixing of freeborn Romans of both sexes and all ages at night, a time when passions are easily aroused, especially given wine and unrestricted opportunity. Similar attrition may have been imposed on Liber's cults; his perceived or actual association with the Bacchanalia may be the reason that his Liberalia ludi of 17 March were temporarily moved to Ceres' Cerealia of 12–19 April. Under the cover of religion, priests and acolytes broke civil, moral and religious laws with impunity.
The Aventine was an ethnically mixed district, strongly identified with Rome's plebeian class and the ingress of new and foreign cults. Known as the Senatus consultum de Bacchanalibus, it brought the Bacchanalia under control of the senate, and thus of the Roman pontifices. The holiday was eventually banned due to drunken and libertine excess.
cf later descriptions of Liber’s “aged priestesses” who offer sacrifice at the Liberalia festival. amzn_assoc_placement = "adunit0"; , Livy claims the earliest version of the Bacchanalia was open to women only, and held on three days of the year, in daylight; while in nearby Etruria, north of Rome, a "Greek of humble origin, versed in sacrifices and soothsaying" had established a nocturnal version, added wine and feasting to the mix, and thus acquired an enthusiastic following of women and men. This resulted in many people fleeing from the city, people becoming imprisoned and many executions. , Livy's consistent negative description of the cult's Greek origins and low moral character—not even Bacchus is exempt from this judgment—may have sought to justify its suppression as a sudden "infiltration of too many Greek elements into Roman worship".
amzn_assoc_asins = "0674033876,0415248736,0691146381,081221692X"; Originally published by Wikipedia, 02.09.2014, under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported license.  Most Roman sources describe him as Rome's equivalent to Dionysus and Bacchus, both of whom were sometimes titled eleutherios (liberator). They were based on the Greek Dionysia and the Dionysian mysteries, and probably arrived in Rome c. 200 BC via the Greek colonies in southern Italy, and from Etruria, Rome's northern neighbour. The Bacchanalia were Roman festivals of Bacchus based on various ecstatic elements of the Greek Dionysia. This may have been motivated less by the kind of lurid and dramatic rumours that Livy describes than by the senate’s determination to assert its civil and religious authority over Rome and her allies, after the prolonged social, political and military crisis of the Second Punic War ( 218-201 BC ). , For Livy, the cult's greatest offences arose from indiscriminate mixing of freeborn Romans of both sexes and all ages at night, a time when passions are easily aroused, especially given wine and unrestricted opportunity. See Robert Rouselle, Liber-Dionysus in Early Roman Drama. Although, this type of publicity hadn't occurred until centuries after the Bacchanalia Scandal. This resulted in many people fleeing from the city, people becoming imprisoned and many executions. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article.  Though most of his dramatis personae are known historical figures, their speeches are implausibly circumstantial, and his characters, tropes and plot developments draw more from Roman satyr plays than from the Bacchanalia themselves. [1913 Webster] … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English, bacchanalian — (adj.) Senatorial legislation to reform the Bacchanalia in 186 BC attempted to control their size, organisation, and priesthoods, under threat of the death penalty. Modern scholars take a skeptical approach to Livy's allegations of frenzied rites, sexually violent initiations of both sexes, all ages and all social classes and of the cult being a murderous instrument of conspiracy against the state. [1913 Webster] … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English, Bacchanalian — Bac cha*na li*an, n. A bacchanal; a drunken reveler. Eric Orlin, "Urban Religion in the Middle and Late Republic", in Jorge Rüpke (editor). God of the vine, grape-harvest, wine-making, wine, fertility, ritual madness, religious ecstasy, theatre. , For Livy, the cult’s greatest offences arose from indiscriminate mixing of freeborn Romans of both sexes and all ages at night, a time when passions are easily aroused, especially given wine and unrestricted opportunity. 2, Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Classical Association, 1996, p. 190.
Livy's dedication to the Bacchanalia scandal leads to his belief that the role Roman Mos maiorum played in society led to the anarchic growth in later centuries.. The triennial festivals paying homage to the harvest were originally characterized by propriety and https://www.britannica.com/topic/Bacchanalia. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1093/gr/43.2.188.  Once enough information was placed on the initiates and priests, the Senate created an inquisition to hunt and bring justice to those found guilty of practicing the cult. Similar attrition may have been imposed on Liber's cults; his perceived or actual association with the Bacchanalia may be the reason that his Liberalia ludi of 17 March were temporarily moved to Ceres' Cerealia of 12–19 April.  The wine and fertility god Liber Pater (“The Free Father”), divine patron of plebeian rights, freedoms and augury, had a long-established official cult in the nearby temple he shared with Ceres and Libera. According to Greek mythology, it was when he had assumed the form of a bull that Dionysus was torn to pieces by the Titans. The bacchanal in art describes any small group of revellers, often including satyrs and perhaps Bacchus or Silenus, usually in a landscape setting.
 However, unlike other mystery cults, the Bacchanalia had two different types of religious functions.
The plots and stock characters of Greek-based Satyr plays would have been familiar to Roman audiences from around the 3rd century BC, as they certainly were in Livy’s day, 200 years on. Cardinal Richelieu, Louvre) Symbol. Sarolta A. Takács, Politics and Religion in the Bacchanalian Affair of 186 B.C.E., Overview in Erich S. Gruen, “The Bacchanalia affair”, in. The Bacchanalia, according to Livy would have been the best place to commit crimes due to the fact that there are much shouting and instruments being played, meaning that in Rome, it would be easier to hide the crime.
Bacchus, Liber and Dionysus became virtually interchangeable from the late Republican era ( 133 BC and onward ), and their mystery cults persisted well into the Principate of Roman Imperial era. For the changes attributed to Paculla Annia as unlikely, see Erich S. Gruen. Although, this type of publicity hadn't occurred until centuries after the Bacchanalia Scandal.  As a political and social conservative, he had a deep mistrust of mystery religions, and probably understood any form of Bacchanalia as a sign of Roman degeneracy. The reformed Bacchanalia rites may have been merged with the Liberalia festival. Robert Rouselle, Liber-Dionysus in Early Roman Drama. The Bacchanalia were Roman festivals of Bacchus, the Greco-Roman god of wine, freedom, intoxication and ecstasy. Greece & Rome 43, no. Congregations of mixed gender were permitted, but were limited to no more than two men and three women, and any Bacchanalia gathering must seek prior permission from the Senate. 2013. Hispala warned Publius of the dangers, that she believed came with the practice. Once investigations were complete, the senate rewarded and protected informants, and suppressed the cult “throughout Italy”—or rather, forced its reformation, in the course of which seven thousand persons were arrested, most of whom were executed.. Tenney Frank suggested that the Dionysian worship may have been introduced to Rome by prisoners taken by the Romans when the former Greek city of Tarentumin southern Italy was captured from the Ca…
Livy, writing some 200 years after the event, offers a scandalised, extremely colourful account of the Bacchanalia. The existing cult chapters and colleges were dismantled. Since Dionysus once held place as the god of vegetation and the vine, and the goat was believed sacred to him, it has been conjectured that tragedy originated in fertility feasts to commemorate…, …from the ribaldry of the Dionysian festival. Men were forbidden to becoming Bacchus' priesthood. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The first was celebrated by the public, which brought attention to dramatic plays - either tragedy or Satyr-comedic play. …”the Bacchic passages in the Roman drama, taken over from their Greek models, presented a pejorative image of the Bacchic cult which predisposed the Romans towards persecution before the consul denounced the cult in 186.” Robert Rouselle, Liber-Dionysus in Early Roman Drama. Modern scholarship takes a skeptical approach to his allegations of frenzied rites, sexually violent initiations of both sexes, all ages and all social classes, and the cult as a murderous instrument of conspiracy against the state.  Like all mystery cults, the Bacchanalia were held in strict privacy, and initiates were bound to secrecy; what little is known of the cult and its rites derives from Greek and Roman literature, plays, statuary and paintings.
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