by Jean-Leon Gerome
In Roman mythology Bacchus is regarded as the god of wine while a Bacchante is the priestess or follower of Bacchus. In Greek mythology the Bacchante are known as the Maenads or Thyiad. Bacchantes were popularly known for their extravagant appetite for drink and licentiousness during the Bacchanalian festivals. The Bacchante indulges in drunken revelry and represents both the joy and destructive power of Bacchus. Bacchantes are characterized as mad women who run in a frenzied way through the forests engaging in wild acts such as tearing animals to pieces and other acts of intoxication.