Z12.8 DIONYSUS & THE TYRRHENIAN PIRATES
|Museum Collection||Bardo National Museum, Tunis|
|Context||Utica, Oceanus or Neptune Mosaic|
Dionysus (Roman Bacchus) transforms the Tyrrhenian pirates into dolphins. In the myth the sailors attempted to capture the god to sell into slavery. The god is depicted as a youth clothed in a bright blue robe, holding a thyrsus (pine-cone tipped staff) in his hand. A panther lunges at the pirates as they leap into the sea. The men are depicted partially transformed into dolphins. On the boat beside Dionysus stands the helmsman Acoetes, a Maenad nymph and the plump, old satyr Silenus.