Bacchae or celebrants of Dionysus
BACCALAUREATE implies being deserving of LAURELS (or BACCA) from BACCHUS ( DIONYSUS).
Dionysus represented in a manneristic manner.
(Note: parts 1 and 2 may add perspective to this part 3)
To earn a BACHELOR degree is a cause for LAUD and LAUDATORY celebrations because BACCHUS or DIONYSUS was also called LAUDATOR - all of which ultimately points to "LAUREL" , a tree-bush sacred since Apollo declared his love for Daphne by presenting her her a crown of laurel branches. His other name was LIBER, perhaps because knowledge provides LIBERTY while also it is a source for some to take excessive liberties, a characteristic of LIBERTINES and of those excessively fond of LIBIDO. Also note that LIBER points to LIBRO or book in sp.
Arguably representing St. John but probably Bacchus (da Vinci).
The wreath of bachelors is made of BAY LEAF or BACCA LAURI, or LAUREL in Spanish. Bachelors should remember that as LAUREATES they are presumed to have the capacity for "self-illumination" through the ability to take DELIGHT in the LIGHT shed by knowledge "of self". The knowledge "of else" is represented by Apollo and Athena.
Many people would agree that mankind, since recorded history, has been fond of wine and other social lubricants like dance and music. "Wine, song and women" underscore such ideas. The saying "IN VINO VERITAS", implying that "wine facilitates veracity" reverberates for centuries. It is unfortunate that, for the most part, it has been forgotten that MAENADS, the devotees of BACCHUS, stood for MEASURED MODERATION and a COMMENSURATE MIND or MENTALITY rather than, as now, unrestrained "craze" or FRENZY. Such shifts in meaning, particularly if derogatory to the ancients, often reflect the efforts of Christian monks to distort ancient documents. Perhaps, those who study behavior and psychiatry ( PHRENOLOGY) should explore why, those who claim to love God, often have a penchant to mislead posterity. It is noteworthy that among the Olympian Gods, who were rather promiscuous, BACCHUS or Dionysus is singled out as a faithful husband of Ariadne.
Bacchus saved and married Ariane (by Pittoni; and Pellegrini).
Bacchic or Dionysian mysteries underscore the paradoxes and vulnerabilities of human nature. Intelligent people, such as Cicero, when exposed to these mysteries, were positively impressed. Such mysteries continue to perplex us. Note the behavior of some recent United States Presidents such as Donald Trump defies reason or at least are mystifying to many.
Human nature remains a recalcitrant mystery and DIONYSUS or BACCHUS remind mortals of this enduring enigma. Mythology stresses that when DIONYSUS came to this world, he was ignored by mankind. In the "Bacchae", Euripides illustrates the punishment of mortals by Dionysus. The BACCHANALIA, which meant DEVOTIONS and the BACCHANTS who were his devotees, can be seen as related to the mysteries of the mind. Several current events in the United States illustrate how the mix of money, greed, and religious zeal with politics and power can become mystifying or at least as toxic as alcohol. Prominent DEBAUCHED behaviors by corporate and political rulers are not to be blamed on BACCHUS but should be seen as a disdain toward DIONYSUS and the rest of us.
This is not a representation of Bacchus, "the twice born" - it represents Silenus "mothering" baby Bacchus. His mother was incinerated by Zues who salvaged Bacchus and gestated him in his thigh - once "delivered" and given to Silenus for his care - thus Bacchus acquired the epithet "twice born or delivered".