He was confused with Pan, Sabazios, Men and Adonis, and there were resemblances between the orgiastic features of his worship and that of Dionysus.
In fact the presence of an orgiastic character is as marked a feature in Canaanite religion as the absence of it is in the oldest religion of Israel; but the new Hebrew enthusiasts had at least an external resemblance to the devotees of the Canaanite sanctuaries and this would be enough to determine the choice of a name which in the first instance seems hardly to have been a name of honour.
How deeply the orgiastic character was stamped on the priesthoods of north Semitic nature-worship is clear from Greek and Roman accounts, such as that of Appuleius (Metam.
While so engaged he met with opposition, even in his own country, as in the case of Pentheus, king of Thebes, who opposed the orgiastic rites introduced by Dionysus among the women of Thebes, and, having been discovered watching one of these ceremonies, was mistaken for some animal of the chase, and slain by his own mother (see A.
They became orgiastic in character and scenes of drunkenness, cf.
In art the Corybantes appear, usually not more than two or three in number, fully armed and executing their orgiastic dance in the presence of the Great Mother, her lions and Attis.
But more significant still was the order of the Sibylline books in 206 B.C. for the introduction of the worship of the Magna Mater(see Great Mother Of The Gods) from Pessinus and her ultimate installation on the Palatine in 191 B.C.: the door was thus opened to the wilder and more orgiastic cults of Greece and the Orient, which at once laid hold on the popular mind.
The rites were characterized by a frenzy of devotion, unrestrained enthusiasm, wild orgiastic dances and wanderings in the forests, and were accompanied by the music of the flute, cymbal, and tambourine.
Philopator was devoted to orgiastic forms of religion and literary dilettantism.
From their first appearance in literature, they are already often identified or confused with them, and are distinguished only by their Asiatic origin and by the more pronouncedly orgiastic nature of their rites.