- Robert Parker
ExtractThiasos (θίασος), a group of worshippers of a god. Permanent thiasoi are attested epigraphically from the Hellenistic period in much of the Greek world: they are associations centred, at least in theory, on the worship of a particular god or hero, and are not clearly distinguishable from other Hellenistic forms of religious or pseudo-religious club. Earlier, thiasoi appear in literary sources in connection with *Dionysus and with other (cf. Dem. 18. 260) ecstatic cults (see ecstasy). How these earlier thiasoi were organized is unknown; possibly they were brought together for no longer than the duration of a particular rite. However that may be, the members were united by a strong sense of undergoing an experience in common: *Euripides speaks, untranslatably, of θιασεύεσθαι ψυχάν (Bacch. 75), ‘entering the thiasos in soul’.Some and possibly all Attic *phratries were also subdivided into thiasoi by the early 4th cent. (A.
- Greek Myth and Religion