Main content
This programme is not currently available on BBC iPlayer

Bacchus Uncovered: Ancient God of Ecstasy

Professor Bettany Hughes investigates the story of Bacchus, god of wine and revelry, travelling to Georgia, Jordan and Greece to discover his origins.

Professor Bettany Hughes investigates the story of Bacchus, god of wine, revelry, theatre and excess, travelling to Georgia, Jordan, Greece and Britain to discover his origins and his presence in the modern world, and explore how 'losing oneself' plays a vital role in the development of civilisation.

In this fascinating journey, Bettany begins in Georgia where she discovers evidence of the world's oldest wine production, and the role it may have played in building communities. In Athens, she reveals Bacchus's pivotal role in a society where his ecstatic worship was embraced by all classes, and most importantly women. On Cyprus, she uncovers startling parallels between Bacchus and Christ. Finally, Bettany follows the god's modern embrace in Nietzsche's philosophy, experimental theatre and the hedonistic hippie movement to conclude that, while this god of ecstasy is worthy of contemporary reconsideration, it is vital to heed the warning of the ancients - 'MEDEN AGAN' - nothing in excess.

1 hour

Last on

Mon 5 Nov 2018 23:30

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Bettany Hughes
Executive Producer Rachel Bell
Director Nick Gillam-Smith
Production Company SandStone Global Productions Ltd

Broadcasts