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The Women of Amphissa

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Amphissa was the capitol of an annual festival in honor of the god Bacchus. In 350 B.C., the territory was over-run by an army from Phocis, stirring fear that the bacchantes would become vulnerable after their celebrating to attack by the enemy soldiers. The women of Amphissa consequently stepped in to protect the sleeping bacchantes throughout the night, guarding them from being ravished by the opponent. Alma-Tadema portrays dawn at the Amphissian marketplace the morning after, its women serving food, standing watch, and caring for the exhausted Bacchantes.