To Silenos, Father of the Satyrs
Divine medium: manna
Κλῦθί μου, ὦ πολύσεμνε τροφεῦ, Βάκχοιο τιθηνέ,
I call much-honored foster-father, nurturer of Bacchos,
Σιληνῶν ὄχ' ἄριστε, τετιμένε πᾶσι θεοῖσι
Silenos, most eminent, revered among all Goddesses, Gods,
καὶ θνητοῖσι βροτοῖσιν ἐπὶ τριετηρίσιν ὥραις,
And mortal humans in the tri-ennial Seasons.
ἁγνοτελής, γεραρός, θιάσου νομίου τελετάρχα,
Elder of pure holy rites, the religious guild’s lawmaker, first to complete holy rites,
εὐαστής, φιλάγρυπνε σὺν εὐζώνοισι τιθήναις,
“Euai!” Fond of the curves of well-girded nurses.
Ναΐσι καὶ Βάκχαις ἡγούμενε κισσοφόροισι·
Naiads’ and Bacchantes’ ivy-bearing leader,
δεῦρ' ἐπὶ πάνθειον τελετὴν Σατύροις ἅμα πᾶσι
Come forth upon the pantheon of holy rites, Satyr, one for all.
θηροτύποις, εὔασμα διδοὺς Βακχείου ἄνακτος,
Let beastly shouts of “Euai!” bring lord Bacchos,
σὺν Βάκχαις Λήναια τελεσφόρα σεμνὰ προπέμπων,
In concert with the Bacchian Lenaia, bring to fulfillment, solemnly attend
ὄργια νυκτιφαῆ τελεταῖς ἁγίαις ἀναφαίνων,
Nightlit holy rites of consecration, bring to light,
εὐάζων, φιλόθυρσε, γαληνιόων θιάσοισιν.
“Euai!” band of thyrsus-lovers, calm the Bacchic revel.
Silenos (Σιληνός, Σειληνός) is an elderly Satyr who fostered, advised, and accompanied Dionysos. Elder Satyrs are called Silenoi.
Satyrs are depicted in art as nude, bearded men with tails, “…they are represented in paintings as hardy, hot-blooded beings, with prominent ears, lean about the loins, altogether mischievous, and having the tails of horses."
Silenos (Σιληνός) is often characterized as inebriated. His name connects him with the wine-vat, “lenos (ληνός).” Lenaios (Ληναῖος) is a surname of Dionysos, the God of wine. Lenai (Λῆναι) are female followers of Dionysos. The Lenaia (Λήναια) was an Athenian and Rhodian festival held in the month Lenaion (Ληναιών) (Gamelion/January) in honor of Dionysos.
In Nonnos’ Dionysiaca, Satyrs and Maenads are Dionysos’ constant companions: fighting, dancing, drinking, carousing, and playing musical instruments. Ovid writes that wherever Dionysos goes, “young men's shouts and women's cries echo afar with noise of tambourines and clashing bronze and long-bored pipes..."
According to accounts related by Diodorus of Sicily, Maenads fought alongside the Satyrs. Dionysos “distributed to the women [maenads] instead of the thyrsi, lances whose tips of iron were covered with ivy leaves; consequently, when the kings in their ignorance disdained them because they were women and for this reason were unprepared, he attacked them when they did not expect it and slew them with the spears.”
Actors dressed as Satyrs formed the choruses of the so-called Satyr-plays which were performed at Dionysian festivals. In addition to accompanying Dionysos, Satyrs participate in the revels of Rhea-Cybele, the Great Goddess of Phrgygia. Sikinnis (σίκιννῐς) is a dance of Satyrs used in the Satyric drama and danced in honor of Rhea-Kybele and Sabazios.
A nude Silenos is depicted on a paestan in the Louvre circa 370 BCE in procession with a shirtless Dionysos, who rides a leopard, a robed Maenad playing the flute, and a nude boy. Both Silenos and Dionysos carry tragedy masks hung on sticks. http://www.theoi.com/Gallery/K12.2B.html
In the Museum of Fine Arts Boston a kylix circa 500 BCE depicts a nude Satyr grasping a drinking horn. http://www.theoi.com/Gallery/T60.8.html
A drinking cup dated to circa 490 BCE depicts Dionysos with a Satyr, and a procession of robed Maenads. The women hold the thyrsus and dance to the music of the double flute. http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/artifact?name=Berlin+F+2290&object=Vase
An amphora housed in Munich circa 500 BCE depicts a nude Satyr playing the double flute accompanying a robed Maenad. http://www.theoi.com/Gallery/T60.13.html
A kylix housed in the Harvard Art Museum depicts a nude Satyr embracing a robed Maenad. http://www.theoi.com/Gallery/T60.10.html
A krater circa 430 BCE in the Harvard Art Museum depicts a nude Satyr playing the flute, a robed Dionysos, and a robed Maenad playing a large tambourine. http://www.theoi.com/Gallery/K12.4.html
A kylix circa 490 BCE depicts a nude Satyr dancing with a robed Maenad. http://www.theoi.com/Gallery/T60.1.html
A pelike circa 470 BCE in the Tampa Museum of Art depicts a nude Satyr pursuing a robed Maenad. http://www.theoi.com/Gallery/T60.12.html
A krater circa 350 BCE in the Tampa Museum depicts a robed Maenad, a nude Dionysos, and a nude Satyr in procession. http://www.theoi.com/Gallery/K12.5.html
Note that atyranneutos (άτῠράννευτος) means arising above (ά) + tyranny (τῠράννευτος), free from tyrants, so that Saturos (Σάτῠρος) could be translated as “synchronized above tyranny,” descriptive of the lifestyle of one who lives in the wilds and mocks the establishment. Consistent with this mockery, sillos (σίλλος) is a silly, “satirical” poem or lampoon. Sillographeo (σιλλογρᾰφέω) is “satirical” poetry.
The Horai are the immortal Goddesses of the seasons, the natural time for things to occur.
Naiads are beautiful young Goddesses who preside over particular rivers and springs in nature. Bacchantes are female devotees of Bacchos.
“Euai,” literally essence (e) + pure (u) + arising (a) + divine power (i), is a Bacchic cry of joy.
Orgia means secret rites, secret worship, mysteries.
 Diodorus of Sicily 4.4.3.
 Pausanias, Description of Greece 1. 23.
 Philostratus the Elder, Imagines 1. 22.
 Ovid, Metamorphoses 4. 25.
 Diodorus of Sicily 3.65.3.
 Strabo, Geography 10. 3. 15; Ovid, Fasti 6. 319.