Relief with dancing maenads
Three maenads (followers of Dionysus) have just completed the sacrifice that allows initiates to unite with the god by drinking the victims’ blood. Now, grasping parts of the dismembered animals, they whirl in an orgiastic dance. The iconography derives from a series created in Athens by Callimachos on the occasion of the performance of Euripides’ Bacchae in 406/405 B.C. The subject enjoyed such success in the Roman world that such scenes became typical in neo-Attic art.