The “Villa of the Mysteries” at Pompeii was built in the middle of the second century BC and remodelled and redecorated in about 60 BC. One hall of it carries round its walls a continuous series of paintings in bright tones. It has been taken to symbolize the preparations of a bride for marriage, while reflecting elements which have been associated with the mysteries of Dionysus (Bacchus). In this section, which goes round a corner, a kneeling woman (centre left) uncovers an object which has been guessed to be an enormous phallus. Next to the right, a winged female raises a whip to strike a half-naked girl whose back is being bared by the woman in whose lap she buries her face. On the right a clothed woman holds the thyrsus, the wand carried by Bacchus and his adherents, while her naked companion, clashing cymbals above her head, dances in ecstasy.