(Old English, ifig). Dedicated to Bacchus from the notion that it is a preventive of drunkenness. But whether the Dionysian ivy is the same plant as that which we call ivy is doubtful, as it was famous for its golden berries, and was termed chryso-carpos.
(in Christian art). Symbol of everlasting life, from its remaining continually green. An ivy wreath was the prize of the Isthmian games, till it was superseded by a pine garland. The plant was sacred to Bacchus and Osiris.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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