President Telete


Greek Name Τελετη
Transliteration Teletê
Latin Spelling Telete
Translation Consecration, Initiation (teletê)

TELETE was the daimona (spirit) who presided over the initiation rites of the Bacchic orgies. She was a daughter of the god Dionysos.

DIONYSOS & NIKAIA (Nonnus Dionysiaca 16.392)

Pausanias, Description of Greece 9. 30. 1 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
“[In the sanctuary of the Mousai (Muses) on Mt Helikon in Boiotia:] First [there are] images of the Mousai . . . by the side of Orpheus stands a statue of Telete, and around him are beasts of stone and bronze listening to his singing.”

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 16. 392 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) :
“[The Nymphe Nikaia was raped by the god Dionysos in her sleep:] She sought a remedy in death by the hanging noose, and encircled her neck with a choking throttling loop, to avert the malice of her mocking yearsmates. Unwilling she left the ancient beastbreeding forest, being ashamed after that bed to show herself to the Archeress [Artemis]. Now lined with the divine dew, the seed of Lyaios [Dionysos], she carried a burden in her womb; and when the time came for her delivery, the lifewarming Horai (Seasons) played the midwives to a female child, and confirmed the nine-circled course of Selene (the Moon). From the marriage of Bromios [Dionysos] a god-sent girl grew to flower, whom she named Telete (Consecration), one ever rejoicing in festivals, a night-dancing girl, who followed Dionysos, taking pleasure in clappers and the bang of the double oxhide.”

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 48. 865 ff :
“[Dionysos addresses Nikaia:] ‘You who have learnt the throes of childbirth in hard necessity, by Telete your danceweaving daughter I beseech you, hasten to lift up my son [Iakkhos], that my desperate Aura may not destroy him with daring hands–for I know she will kill one of the two baby boys in her intolerable frenzy, but do you help Iakkhos [god of the ritual cry]: guard the better boy, that your Telete (Consecration) may be the servant of son and father both.’”

Pausanias, Description of Greece – Greek Travelogue C2nd A.D.
Nonnos, Dionysiaca – Greek Epic C5th A.D.



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