Sacred Texts  Classics 

A Harvest Festival, Lawrence Alma-Tadema [1880] (Public Domain Image)

The Eleusinian and Bacchic Mysteries

by Thomas Taylor


Contents    Start Reading    Page Index    Text [Zipped]

This is Thomas Taylor's essay on the ancient initiation rituals of Eleusis and Bacchus. Taylor (1758-1835) was an English Neoplatonist who was the first to translate Aristotle and Plato into English. His translation of the Orphic Hymns is also available at this site, among other works. The inner teachings of these ancient Mediterranean mystery religions have been lost for two millennia, but Taylor believed that he had found the skeleton key in classical mythology and Plato's philosophy. This influential essay outlines his theory.

Title Page
Fable is Love’s World, Poem by Schiller
Section I., Eleusinian Mysteries
Section II., Bacchic Mysteries
Hymn to Minerva
Orphic Hymns
Hymn of Cleanthes
List of Illustrations