""The gods are there!" is the cry of Wilamowitz. But he forgets what he has said at the very moment when its complete meaning should be clear to him. If men ever really spoke in this fashion - men from whom the sound of the name "God" still evoked the electricity which it later lost through usage and dogma - is it self-evident that their first impulse was to solicit the good will of the great one before whom they stood in awe? Why, we ask ourselves, is there such an expenditure of greatness in the economy of the universe if we must believe that men who actually came face to face with the great one remained just as small in this encounter as if they were dealing with patrons who are susceptible to flattery, promises and gifts? We must either abandon the assertion that men once consciously believed in gods worthy of the name, or we must confess that the first manifestation by whose vision man was overcome must have produced ecstacy, devotion, allegiance, exaltation."
Dionysus: Myth and Cult, Walter F. Otto (via argonauticae)