κατάκισσος (katakissos), ivy-wreathed κισσεοχαίτης (kisseochaitēs), wreathed with ivy, epith. of Apollo κισσηρεφής (kissērephēs), ivy-clad κίσσινος (kissinos), of ivy κισσόβρυος (kissobruos), luxuriant with ivy κισσοειδής (kissoeidēs), like ivy κισσοκόμης (kissokomēs), ivy-crowned κισσόπλεκτος (kissoplektos), ivy-twined κισσοποίητος (kissopoiētos), made of ivy κισσοστέφανος (kissostephanos), ivy-crowned, of Dionysus κισσοφάγος (kissophagos),
ivy-eating κισσοφόρος (kissophoros), ivy-wreathed, of Dionysus; luxuriant with ivy κισσοχαίτης (kissochaitēs), ivy-tressed, i.e. ivycrowned
κισσοχαρής (kissocharēs), delighting in ivy κισσοχίτων (kissochitōn), ivy-clad κισσωτός (kissōtos), decked with ivy φιλοκισσοφόρος (philokissophoros), fond of wearing ivy, of Dionysus
Gryffindor red is the color of lips before a kiss. It’s the color of bloody noses and skinned knees, of scabs forming over knuckles. It’s the color of floor length curtains and old rugs with too much fringe. It’s the red that tinges anger, sleeps at the heart of anxiety, and escorts love. It’s the color of a dancer’s dress as she spins in front of a window. The color of melted sealing wax. It’s a robin’s chest, a roaring crowd, and the hearth within an old stone building. It’s the color of home.
Slytherin green is the color of ivy wreathing windows. It’s the color of forest leaves and crushed grass, of pebbles covered in moss. It’s the color of forgotten old paintings and favorite coats with ripped pockets. It’s the green that bathes with jealousy, mixes with fatigue, and gleams next to excitement. It’s the color of a worn quilt. The color of nails tapping in anticipation. It’s the pine tree boughs, a whisper in an ear, and the world right before it rains. It’s the color of life.
Ravenclaw blue is the color of the sky a breath after dusk. It’s the color of the ocean and morning fog, of tears slipping down a cheek. It’s the color of wide eyes and the fresh sheets on a newly made bed. It’s the blue that swirls with sadness, smiles at greed, and dances with wonder. It’s the color of a ribbon marking a page in a book. The color of a fallen feather. It’s the hiss of the wind, the howl of a wolf, and a teacup set perfectly in the center of its dish. It’s the color of hope.
Hufflepuff yellow is the color of pollen stained fingers. It’s the color of dandelions and old parchment, of an unopened locket. It’s the color of fresh pie and old bruises. It’s the yellow that takes guilt’s hand, whirls with loneliness, and links arms with joy. It’s the color of dust drifting through sunbeams. The color of broken paintbrushes. It’s the whine of a teakettle, a pair of loved socks, and a wide open window. It’s the color of light.
Melpomene was one of the nine Muses, the goddesses of music, song and dance. She was initially the Muse of Chorus, she then became the Muse of Tragedy, for which she is best known now. In this guise she was portrayed holding a tragic mask or sword, and sometimes wearing a wreath of ivy and cothurnus boots.
Silver stater of Thebes, featuring a Boeotian shield on the obverse and the head of Dionysus, crowned with an ivy wreath, on the reverse. Artist unknown; ca. 405-395 BCE. Photo credit: Exekias/Wikimedia Commons.
“It was Olympias’ habit to enter into these states of possession and surrender herself to the inspiration of the god with even wilder abandon than the others, and she would introduce into the festival procession numbers of large snakes, hand-tamed, which terrified the male spectators as they raised their heads from the wreaths of ivy and the sacred winnowing-baskets, or twined themselves around the wands and garlands of women.”
“The final secrets of existence and non-existence transfix mankind with monstrous eyes… Here there is nothing but encounter, from which there is no withdrawal… Because it is the god’s nature to appear suddenly and with overwhelming might before mankind, the mask serves as his symbol and his incarnation in cult. The mask has no reverse side. ‘Spirits have no backs’, people say. It has nothing which might transcend the mighty moment of confrontation. It is the symbol and the manifestation of that which is simultaneously there and not there: that which is excruciatingly near, that which is completely absent – both in one reality.”
MELPOMENE was one of the nine Mousai (Muses), the goddesses of music, song and dance. When the Mousai were assigned specific artistic and literary spheres, Melpomene was named
named Muse of Tragedy and in this guise she was oft portrayed holding a tragic mask or sword, and sometimes wearing a wreath of ivy and cothurnus boots.
Melpomene was so named by the chanting by which she charmed her listeners and derived from the Greek verb melpô or melpomai; her name literally means"to celebrate with dance and song.“
In ancient times real wreaths of ivy were worn during the festival of Dionysus. The god Dionysus (Roman Bacchus) was usually depicted wearing an an ivy wreath in ancient Greek and Roman art. A wreath such as this one was probably used as funerary goods for a wealthy individual.
Sicily, AR tetradrachm. 17.23 gr, 26mm. 476-431 BC. AITNAION, head of
the satyr Silenos, bald and bearded, right, with pointed horse’s ear,
and wearing a wreath of ivy wreath, beetle below / Zeus Aitnaios seated
right on ornamented throne covered with a panther’s skin, himation
draped over his left shoulder and arm, holding thunderbolt in extended
left hand and a knotted vine staff bent into a crook at the top in his
right hand; to right a pine tree with an eagle perched on top. Hill,
Coins of Ancient Sicily, P. 74
For all the minting is associated, in the ancient mind, with the work of the forge, heat, and fire, it’s relatively rare to find a coin that actually comes from a volcano. This tetradrachm was struck at a mint on Mount Aetna on the island of Sicily, which is still an active volcano today. While I doubt that lava was used in the striking of the coins, the reverse shows a distinctive local Zeus, who is particularly associated with the place.
This coin is also the only case I know of where a pine tree appears on a Greek coin. Evergreen trees are not particularly rare, even in the southern Mediterranean, yet the image is not a common one.
“I begin to sing of ivy-crowned Dionysus, the loud-crying god, splendid son of Zeus and glorious Semele. The rich-haired Nymphs received him in their bosoms from the lord his father and fostered and nurtured him carefully in the dells of Nysa, where by the will of his father he grew up in a sweet-smelling cave, being reckoned among the immortals. But when the goddesses had brought him up, a god oft hymned, then began he to wander continually through the woody coombes, thickly wreathed with ivy and laurel. And the Nymphs followed in his train with him for their leader; and the boundless forest was filled with their outcry.
And so hail to you, Dionysus, god of abundant clusters! Grant that we may come again rejoicing to this season, and from that season onwards for many a year.”
This stater is worth about $211,000 and is the finest example of this type known. It’s from the ancient city of Thebes in Boeotia from around 405-395 BC. On the obverse is a Boeotian shield with the reverse side displaying an image of Dionysos wearing an ivy wreath with the letters Θ and Ε.
The mint of Thebes produced a number of unusually fine representations on the reverses of its staters, but this one must be the most startlingly impressive of them all. Dionysos, the god of wine, is clearly a figure of great power and emotion; his eyes are fully open and stare out at us, and his lips are parted so that we can see the teeth within his mouth. The brilliant engraver who created this astonishing head has let us imagine the flush moving over the god’s cheeks, as he gets redder and redder with all the sacred wine he has drunk. This is unquestionably one of the finest facing heads in all Greek numismatic art.