The thyrsos (thyrsus) is the staff carried by Dionysus (Bacchus) and his associates; topped by a pine cone or a bunch of ivy leaves and wreathed with tendrils of vine or ivy. It was a symbol of the immortality of his believers.


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Thyrsus, one of the peculiar attributes of Bacchus (Dionysus).  It was a spear or lance, the iron head of which was wrapped round, sometimes with vine leaves and branches of the vine.  The ancients feigned that Bacchus used this weapon against the Indians with whom he was said to waged successful war.  In memory of this event, it was the custom of his votaries at their sacrificial feasts to have the thyrsus borne in triumphant procession by the Bacchantes, who employed it in the frenzied ceremonies of their wild and licentious worship.  The thyrsus is seen almost always in the hand of Bacchus, as may have been observed on coins of the Cosconia and Trebonia moneyers and on many imperial and provincial issues, such as those of Trajan, Hadrian, Antoninus Pius, Commodus, Septimius Severus, Caracalla, etc. 

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