THRONE OF THE PRIEST OF DIONYSOS ELEUTHERIOS
97 x 88 x 71 cm
early 20th century
The original throne still stands among the ruins of the Theatre of Dionysos in Athens. The back is decorated with satyrs and grapes, both connected to the cult of the deity, and there are griffins between the feet, which imitate lions’ paws. The inscription below the griffins claims that the seat “belongs to the priest of Dionysos Eleutherios”. The Greek adjective means ‘saviour, liberator’; it was used to honour the god on the festival of the Great Dionysia. As part of the festival, dramatic contests were held at the theater. The priest had a seat reserved in the front row to view the performance.