Other accounts of his death are: that he killed himself from grief at the failure of his journey to Hades; that he was struck with lightning by Zeus for having revealed the mysteries of the gods to men; or he was torn to pieces by the Maenads for having abandoned the cult of Dionysus for that of Apollo.
A large fragment of a relief also of early date, represents two dancing maenads half life-size.
The Maenads (" mad ones ") or Bacchae, the women attendants of Dionysus, with their snake-accompaniments, are only one of the various snake-features associated with the cult of a deity who was also a god of healing.
When Dionysus, with his band of frenzied women (Maenads) arrived at Thebes (his native place and the first city visited by him in Greece), Pentheus denied his divinity and violently opposed the introduction of his rites.
The two male deities worshipped were Cabeiros and a boy: the Cabeiros resembles Dionysus, being represented on vases as lying on a couch, his head surrounded with a garland of ivy, a drinking cup in his right hand; and accompanied by maenads and satyrs.
Andre's sombre rage against the course of events found vent in the line on the Maenads who mutilated the king's Swiss Guard, and in the Ode d Charlotte Corday congratulating France that "Un scelerat de moins rampe dans cette fange."