Sec. III d.C.

OPPIANUS, Cynegetica, IV, 287-319

Testo tratto da: Oppian, Colluthus. Tryphiodorus, traduzione di Mair A. W., Londra 1987

Late and at last he set foot in Thebes, and all the daughters of Cadmus came to meet the son of the fire. But rash Pentheus bound the hands of Dionysus that should not be bound and threatened with his own murderous hands to rend the god. He had not regard unto the white hair of Tyrian Cadmus nor to Agave grovelling at his feet, bur called to his ill-fated companions to hale away the god –to hale him away and shut him up – and he drave away the choir of women. Now the guards of Pentheus thought to carry away Bromius in bonds of iron, and so thought the other Cadmeans; but the bonds touched not the god. And the heart of the women worshippers was chilled, and they cast on the ground all the garlands from their temples and the holy emblems of their hands, and the cheeks of all the worshippers of Bromios flowed with tears. And straightway they cried: “Io! Blessed one, O Dionysus, kindle thou the flaming lightning of thy father and shake the earth and give us speedy vengeance on the evil tyrant. And, O son of fire, make Pentheus a bull upon the hills, make Pentheus of evil name a bull and make us ravenous wild beasts, armed with deadly claws, that, O Dionysus, we may rend him in our mouths”. So spake they praying and the lord of Nysa speedily hearkened to their prayer. Pentheus he made a bull of deadly eye and arched his neck and made the horns spring from his forehead. But to the women he gave the grey eyes of a wild beast and armed their jaws and on their backs put a spotted hide like that of fawns and made them a savage race. And, by the devising of the god having changed their fair flesh, in the form of leopards they rent Pentheus among the rocks. Such things let us sing, such tings let us believe in our hearts! But as for the deeds of the women in the glens of Cithareon, or the tales told of those wicked mothers, alien to Dionysus, these are the impious falsehoods of minstrels.