The Paphos Mosaic

The ongoing confusion between the Bacchic and Christian cults during the Byzantine era is clear in this 5th century A.D. mosaic from Paphos in Cyprus, in which the infant wine-god is portrayed in a setting reminiscent of the Adoration of the Magi. Instead of the traditional maenads and satyrs, the baby Bacchus is surrounded by worshippers that include Ambrosia and Nectar, as divine food and drink, and old Tropheus the Provider (see Johnson 1989). In due time, Christianity was able to usurp several symbols of Bacchic spring's fertility with the Resurrection.