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Maenads [r]: From Greek mythology, they were female followers of the Greek god Dionysos; they have power to cause wine or milk to rise from the ground. They were handlers of snakes and could tear animals apart with their bare hands, according to Greek mythology and Elizabeth Vandiver, Classics scholar, authority on Greek mythology and Greek tragedy, including the Iliad, Odyssey, Aeneid, Homer, and Virgil. In the drama called The Bacchae by the Greek playwright Euripides, they were often in a state of ecstatic joy bordering on madness or frenzy, and were quite wild and sometimes drunk and out of control. They were likely to have sexual intercourse on a whim. They liked to hunt animals, and even rip them apart with their bare hands, and sometimes did this to adult human men and women and children for fun. [e]

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