Dionysus: Myth and Cult

by Walter Friedrich Otto

Book, 1981



Call number


Call number



Dallas : Spring Pubns, c1981.

Original publication date

1933 (German)

Physical description

243 p.; 20 cm

Local notes

In this classic study of the myth and cult of Dionysus, Walter F. Otto recreates the theological world of ancient Greek religion. Otto's provocative starting point is to accept the immanent reality of the gods. To understand the cult of Dionysus, it is necessary to reimagine the original vision of the god. Otto challenges us to understand the power of this vision not as a bloodless abstraction but as a force animating belief, to see the myth and art of Dionysus as a passionate search to regain the power of the lost god.

User reviews

LibraryThing member WritingHaiku
I enjoyed this book a great deal but it is not light reading. It also helps if you know something about Dionysus before you read it, as this is a scholarly work on the god and assumes you have some knowledge of him already. I learned a lot but stayed a bit confused throughout. Now that I've finished it, however, I feel I have a good context for further reading about Dionysus. If you love Greek mythology, check this one out. Dionysus is a rather unusual character, being a god of dual natures and also the god of ecstasy and madness. His female attendants are also incredibly interesting.… (more)
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