phaled

“The Devil was represented as black, with goat’s horns, ass’s ears, cloven hoofs, and an immense phallus. He is, in fact, the Satyr of the old Dionysiac processions, a nature-spirit, the essence of joyous freedom and unrestrained delight, shameless if you will, for the old Greeks knew not shame. He is the figure who danced light-heartedly across the Aristophanic stage, stark nude in broad midday, animally physical, exuberant, ecstatic, crying aloud the primitive refrain, ‘Phales, boon mate of Bacchus, joyous comrade in the dance, wanton wanderer o’ nights’ … in a word, he was Paganism incarnate, and Paganism was the Christian’s deadliest foe; so they took him, the Bacchic reveller, they smutted him from horn to hoof, and he remained the Christian’s deadliest foe, the Devil.”

~ Montague Summers, 1926

Πέμπτη Μεσοῦντος/ Πέμπτη ἐπὶ δέκα / Πεντεκαιδεκάτη, XV day
From today’s sunset: fifteenth day of Poseideon.
The fifteenth of the month is always sacred to Athena.
This is also the most probable day for the beginning of the celebrations of the Rural Dionysia (Τὰ κατ’ἀγρούς)!

Phallic Procession, sacrifices and agones in the theatres (dithyrambic choruses, tragedies and comedies)
“Oh, mighty Dionysos, it is with joy that, freed from military duty, I and all mine perform this solemn rite and offer Thee this sacrifice; grant that I may keep the rural Dionysia without hindrance…walk behind the basket-bearer and hold the phallus well erect; I will follow, singing the Phallic hymn; thou, wife, look on from the top of the terrace. Forward!…Oh, Phales, Phales! If You will drink and bemuse Thyself with me, we shall tomorrow consume some good dish in honour of the peace, and I will hang up my buckler over the smoking hearth.” (Aristoph. Ach. 241- 263)
“Our traditional festival of the Dionysia was in the past a cheerful and simple procession . First came a jug of wine and a vine branch, then one of the celebrants carried a goat, and another followed with a basket of figs, and the bearer of the phallus came last.” (Plut. De Cupid. Divit. p527D)
“The Comic poet (Aristophanes) said that Phales is companion to Dionysus; for sexual pleasures accompany the Dionysiac drink. Phalliones [are] those who campaign in honour of Dionysus to provoke laughter, called thus after the Dionysiac phalluses.” (Suda s.v. Φαλῆς) “Ithyphalloi: [Meaning] the overseers of Dionysos and followers of the phallus, wearing women’s dress. The penis when erect is called a phallus, and poems that are sung with accompanying dances at the upright phallus are called phalluses.” (Suda s.v. Ἰθύφαλλοι) “Phallophoroi: [Meaning] erect-phallus-men, improvisors. Kinds of musicians. And some used to wear a wreath of ivy, but the Ithyphalloi had masks of drunkards and flowered sleeves, and a chiton down to their ankles. But the Phallophoroi used to cover their faces with a papyrus skin, wearing wreaths of ivy and violets.” (Suda s.v. Φαλλοφόροι)

“The erection of phalluses is a symbol (synthema) of the generating power … called to fertilize the Cosmos.” For this reason, most of these phallic images are consecrated between Winter and Spring, the common period of Demeter and Dionysus, as it will be soon remembered at the Haloa festival - “when the whole universe receives from the Gods the seeds of universal creation. ” (cf. Iamblichus, De Mysteriis, I,11)

(Dionysos Ludovisi - Dionysos with panther and Satyr, II CE, Palazzo Altemps)