Dionysos | enzyclopadie.com (2023)





alternative names

Bacchus (Roman)

(Video) Dionysos - Monsters in Love [Full Album]

It appears in

HomerIlias, Ovidiose metamorphosea, Euripideslike


son of Zeus and Semele

character overview

Dionysus, the Greek god of fertility, wine, and ecstasy, was popular throughout much of the ancient world. In Rome, he was known as Bacchus (pronounced BAHK-us). As a complex deity, Dionysus played two very different roles.Greek mythology. As the god of fertility, he was closely associated with cultivation, harvesting, and the changing of the seasons. As the god of wine and ecstasy, he was associated with drunkenness, madness, and wild sexuality. His nature comprised a productive and life-giving side and an animal and destructive side.

Great Myths

The most common myth about the origin of Dionysus is that he was the son of Zeus (pronounced ZOOS) and Semele (pronounced SEM-uh-lee), daughter of the founder of Thebes. Zeus's jealous wife, Hera, wanted to know the identity of the child's father. He disguised himself as Semele's old nanny and went to Semele. When Semele told her that Zeus was her father, Hera challenged her to prove her claim by having Zeus appear in all his glory. Semele did it. However, since Zeus was the god of lightning, his power was too great for a human. Semele turned to ashes.

(Video) Miscellaneous Myths: Dionysus

Before Semele died, Zeus took Dionysus out of her womb. Then Zeus opened her thigh and placed the fetus inside her. A few months later, he opened her thigh and Dionisio was born. The girl was left with Semele's sister, Ino, who disguised her as a girl to protect her from Hera. As punishment for helping Dionysus, Hera drove Ino and her husband crazy.

Some legends say that Hera also drove Dionysus mad. After that, Dionysus, accompanied by his master Silenus (pronounced sye-LEE-nus), wandered the world.Saturn(pronounced SAY-turz, half man, half goat) and their female followers, known as maenads (pronounced MEE-nads). When Dionysus traveled to Egypt, he introduced the cultivation of the vine and the art of winemaking. When he went to Libya, he established an oracle in the desert, a place where mortals could communicate with the gods. He too traveled to India, defeating all who opposed him and bringing laws, cities, and wine to the country. On his way back to Greece he met his grandmother, the goddess of the earth.Cybele(pronounced SIB-uh-lee). She cured him of his madness and taught him the mysteries of life and resurrection (rebirth).

In another story about his birth, Dionysus was the son of Zeus anddemeter, the goddess of plants and plants. Hera was jealous of the boy and she convinced him thattitansto destroy it. Although Dionysus was disguised as a goat, the Titans found him, caught him, and tore him to pieces. They ate all of his body except his heart, which was saved byAthens. She gave the heart to Zeus, who gave it to Semele to eat. Semele later gave birth to Dionysus again. The story portrays the earth (Demeter) and the sky (Zeus) giving birth to the harvest (Dionysus), dying each winter and being reborn in the spring.

Drunkenness and madness are elements that appear in many stories about Dionysus. In one story, Dionysus disguised himself as a boy and got drunk on an island near Greece. Some pirates found him and promised to take him to Naxos, which Dionysus said was his home. However, the pirates decided to sell the boy as a slave. Only one of them, Acoetes, opposed the plan. As the pirates moved their ship away from Naxos, the wind dropped. Suddenly, a tangle of vines covered the ship. The oars turned into snakes, grapes grew on Dionysus' head, and wild animals appeared and played at his feet. Crazed, the pirates jumped into the sea. Only Acoetes was saved. He sailed to Naxos, where Dionysius appointed him a priest for his followers. Dionysus also met the princess on Naxos.Ariana(pronounced ar-ee-AD-nee), who became his wife.

The Adoration of DionysusDionysus's influence on fertility extended beyond crops to animals and humans. This power made him a symbol of creative powers, the elixir of life for nature. Women flocked to worship him because of his association with the female responsibility for childbirth and the harvest. According to tradition, these women left their families and traveled to the countryside to participate in the festivals of Dionysus, known in Rome as bacchanalia. They wore animal skins and carried so-called magic wands.thyrsus, made with fennel stalks tied with vine and ivy. The thyrsi were symbols of fertility and procreation, as well as drunkenness.

During the festivals of Dionysia, the Maenads would go into a trance, dancing to the beat of drums and waving Thyrsi. Sometimes they went crazy, acquiring supernatural powers. Maenads were said to be able to tear animals, and even humans, apart with their bare hands.

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In a myth, the cult of Dionysus has tragic consequences. Disguised as a young man, Dionysus visited Thebes and brought the women there under his power. He led them to a mountain outside the city, where they participated in his rituals. Pentheus, king of Thebes, was enraged and imprisoned Dionysus. Miraculously, the chains fell off and the prison cell opened by itself. Dionysus told Pentheus about the wild celebrations he would see if he dressed up as a woman and went up the mountain. The king, disguised as a woman, hid in a tree to watch over Dionysus. However, the women saw him and in his madness they mistook him for a puma. They killed him and tore him to pieces.

king midasOne of the most famous stories about Dionysus concerns the king.Midasand the golden ticket. Dionysus's teacher, Silenus, had a habit of getting drunk and forgetting where he was. One day after drinking it, Silenus got lost while he was traveling to Midas' kingdom. He fell into a whirlpool and would have drowned if Midas hadn't saved him. As a reward, Dionysus granted Midas everything he wanted. Midas asked that everything he touched turn to gold. However, after the wish was granted, Midas discovered that all of his food had turned to gold and he could no longer eat. So when he hugged his daughter, she too turned golden. Dionysus removed the golden touch from Midas after the king discovered the price of his greed.

Dionysus in context

Dionysus did not start out as a Greek god. His followers had roots in Thrace (northern Greece), Phrygia (in present-day Turkey), or possibly on the island of Crete. Many Greek city-states initially rejected the cult of Dionysus due to his alien origins and his savage drunkenness rituals. When the cult reached Rome, the faithful held their celebrations in secret. However, in both Greece and Rome, the cult of Dionysus overcame resistance and gained a large following.

While many cultures view drinking and intoxication as undesirable at best and sinful at worst, for the ancient Greeks and Romans, in certain contexts, it was seen as an appropriate way to honor and associate with the gods. The Greek philosopher Plato's symposium actually reports a drinking party attended by his teacher Socrates and several other notable Athenians during the Feast of Dionysus. It is clear from the text that the men present drank heavily and that the ability to do so was considered a positive quality.

Dionysus and Apollo

The German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche used the terms in his discussion of the ancient Greeks.Dionysianmiapollonianto describe the two sides of human nature. Dionysian impulses, sensual and irrational impulses, are named after Dionysus. The termapollonianrefers to the rational side of human behavior associated with the god Apollo. Interestingly, these two gods, with their very different natures, actually shared a sanctuary at Delphi. It is said that Dionysus had the gift of prophecy, and the priests of Delphi honored him almost as much as Apollo.

While agriculture as a whole was important to the ancient Romans, winemaking in particular was considered a particularly critical part of Roman agriculture. Dionysus, often depicted with grapes and wine, was more popular with the ancient Romans than many other agricultural gods because of this connection.

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Main themes and symbols

There are three important themes that run through the myth of Dionysus. One theme is the animosity that Dionysus and his cult face both from Hera and from the inhabitants of the places he visits. He is often seen as an outsider or foreigner, reflecting his origins outside of Greece and Rome. The second is the association of Dionysus with madness. This can also symbolize the loss of control caused by drunkenness. The third is the idea of ​​death and rebirth, integral to Dionysus's identity as a god of the harvest and fertility. As crops die in winter and return in spring, Dionysus, like many other agricultural gods, was seen as a symbol of death and resurrection.

Dionysus in art, literature and everyday life

Due to his popularity and the colorful stories about him and his followers, Dionysus has been a popular subject for writers and artists. He appears in ancient Greek poetry as Homer.Ilias, where he is represented as a young god. Later, he is mentioned in the works of the Greek dramatist Euripides and the Roman poet Ovid. Many poems and stories by English and American writers such asJuan Milton,Juan Keats, miRalph Waldo Emersoncontain descriptions of Dionysus or his rituals. Famous sculptors like Michelangelo carved images of it, and artists throughout history have used it as a subject for their paintings. He is sometimes depicted as old and bearded, and at other times as a young man. He is often shown surrounded by powerful animals such as bulls and goats.

Dionysus appears as a character in Rick Riordan's award-winning bookTHE LIGHTNING THIEF (2005).The story of an attempted Dionysian ritual re-enactment gone terribly awry forms the basis of Donna Tartt's 1992 novel.The Secret History.

Read, write, think, discuss

alcoholic drinksWine, especially wine, have long played an important role in Greek culture. In modern times, Greece does not have a legal drinking age for private consumption and was known for many years to have no age restriction on purchasing alcohol (although this is no longer the case). However, it is generally accepted that alcoholism rates in Greece are lower than in many other countries. Do you think that alcohol consumption was legalized for young people in theUSAlead to higher rates of alcoholism among adolescents? Why or why not? Are there fundamental differences between the Greek and American cultures that would lead to different results?

SEE ALSO Apollo;Ariana;Athens;demeter;Hera;Iliad, A;Midas;Saturn;Zeus


Did Dionysus cheat on Ariadne? ›

Ariadne was faithful to Dionysus. Perseus killed her at Argos by turning her to stone with the head of Medusa during Perseus' war with Dionysus. In the Odyssey, it is told that Artemis killed her.

Is Dionysus a boy or girl? ›

He was a very young man, perhaps only about twenty or twenty-one when he became King of Thebes. Dionysus came to Thebes to introduce his worship to his homeland, but Pentheus forbade any of the Theban women to worship him.

Why can't Dionysus drink wine? ›

Alcokinesis: As the god of wine, Dionysus can manipulate alcohol. However, in the first series he is not allowed to partake in alcohol, with Zeus stripping him of this ability.

Did Dionysus have a male lover? ›

Ampelos (Greek: Ἂμπελος, lit. "Vine") or Ampelus (Latin) was a personification of the grapevine and lover of Dionysus in Greek and Roman mythology. He was a satyr that either turned into a constellation or the grape vine, due to Dionysus.

Who did Dionysus fall in love with? ›

He had modest number of lovers in myth, the most well known of which were his bride Ariadne, the Kalydonian queen Althaia, and the youth Ampelos. His relationship with the Kretan princess Ariadne is described on a separate page.

Is Dionysus asexual? ›

In Ancient Greek mythology, Dionysus was the god of collective ecstasy. He is often described as an androgynous and asexual figure, whose followers would dance themselves into trances (Jameson, 1993). Representations of him have evolved over time.

Is Dionysus the god of LGBT? ›

Dionysus has been dubbed "a patron god of hermaphrodites and transvestites" by Roberto C. Ferrari in the 2002 Encyclopedia of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Culture. He is referred to as effeminate, which is sometimes linked to his being dressed in girl's clothes during his childhood.

Is Dionysus intersex? ›

Dionysus was also endowed with male and female attributes, and his dual nature was celebrated as the sign of his fertility and sexual power.

What are Dionysus 3 powers? ›

He had special powers of making wine and causing vines to grow. He could also transform himself into animals such as a bull or a lion. One of his special powers was the ability to drive mortals insane.

What 3 things is Dionysus the god of? ›

In Greco-Roman religion, Dionysus is a nature god of fruitfulness and vegetation, especially known as a god of wine and ecstasy.

What are Dionysus colors? ›

Dionysus. Black, Red, and Green: Dionysus is a fertility god and the god of wine. He is the Greek version of Baldr in that he dies and is reborn.

What is Dionysus weakness? ›

Strengths: Dionysus is the creator of wine. He also shakes things up when it gets dull. Weaknesses: God of intoxication and drunkenness, states he pursues frequently.

Why was Dionysus killed? ›

This myth of death and rebirth was shared in Greek Mythology, as Dionysus had a similar fate. Hera, still jealous of Zeus' infidelity and the birth of his illegitimate child, she arranged for the Titans to kill him.

What makes Dionysus angry? ›

Dionysus is angry at the beginning of The Bacchae because some people doubt that he is really a god. They believe that his human mother lied about his father, and that really he is simply the child of a mortal man. In revenge, he has driven his aunts mad and has sent them to observe his worshippers in the woods.

What is a female follower of Dionysus called? ›

maenad, female follower of the Greek god of wine, Dionysus. The word maenad comes from the Greek maenades, meaning “mad” or “demented.” During the orgiastic rites of Dionysus, maenads roamed the mountains and forests performing frenzied, ecstatic dances and were believed to be possessed by the god.

Did Aphrodite like Dionysus? ›

The gods were lovers, so it's fitting their statues were close. According to Greek mythology, the deities Aphrodite and Dionysus had a grand love affair.

Was Dionysus a drunk? ›

Dionysus is the god of wine and drunken revelry in Greek mythology. He is a patron of the theater and an agricultural/fertility god. He was sometimes at the heart of frenzied madness that led to savage murder. Writers often contrast Dionysus with his half-brother Apollo.

Who was Dionysus first lover? ›

Dionysus and Ampelos

It was during such happy times that the young god met Ampelos, his first love and perhaps the most important character in the story of Dionysus. Ampelos was a young human (or sometimes a Satyr) from the Phrygian hills.

Who killed Dionysus? ›

Hera, still jealous of Zeus' infidelity and the fact that Dionysus was alive, arranged for the Titans to kill him. The Titans ripped him to pieces; however, Rhea brought him back to life.

How many lovers did Dionysus have? ›

Notes. Dionysus had only one consort but [possibly] many lovers. His consort is Ariadne.

Who is the god of asexuality? ›

In Ancient Greek mythology, Dionysus was the god of collective ecstasy. He is often described as an androgynous and asexual figure, whose followers would dance themselves into trances (Jameson, 1993) .

Is Dionysus a feminist? ›

As a bisexual god, Dionysus was the patron of women, who were his main devotees, and the stimulator of the maenads' frenzy. Considered as a salient feminist work, Rist's maenad brings to mind the demand for women's liberation.

Did Dionysus and Aphrodite have a child? ›

PRIAPOS (Priapus) The god of garden fertility. He was the son of Dionysos and Aphrodite or a Naiad Nymph.

Is Dionysus a hero or a villain? ›

He was the son of Zeus and the mortal Semele, making Dionysus semi-device or a hero.

Did Dionysus have a wife? ›

Dionysus takes Ariadne to Olympia and marries her; and he presents her the crown which will later become a star in the sky4.

Who is the Greek god of bisexuality? ›

Apollo appears to be, what we might call today, bisexual.

Apollo was not hung up about whether his lovers were male or female.

Did Zeus give birth to Dionysus? ›

Zeus Rescues the Unborn Dionysus

Instead of let his unborn son perish along with Semele, however, Zeus rescued the unborn baby and sewed him onto his leg. Dionysus was born a few days later while he was attached to Zeus's body. Dionysus was officially born on Mount Pramnos on Ikaria.

What did Dionysus look like? ›

He was depicted as either an older, bearded god or an effeminate, long-haired youth. His attributes included the thyrsos (a pine-cone tipped staff), a drinking cup and a crown of ivy. He was usually accompanied by a troop of Satyrs and Mainades (wild female devotees).

What is Dionysus the protector of? ›

Dionysus: God of the Grape Harvest

Dionysus is said to have been “the protector of those who do not belong in conventional society.” Along with being the savior of these pariahs, he's a symbol of chaos, danger and the unanticipated.

Is Dionysus a chaos god? ›

Dionysus, son of Semele, is the god of wine and dance, of irrationality and chaos, representing passion, emotions and instincts. The ancient Greeks did not consider the two gods to be opposites or rivals, although they were often entwined by nature.

What is Dionysus legendary for? ›

Dionysus is the Olympian God of wine and madness, and cousin to Zagreus. He offers boons to Zagreus revolving around his signature Status Curse, Hangover, slowing, and stunning enemies, as well as various drinking-themed Boons. Dionysus offers strong damage over time abilities on nearly all his offensive boons.

What animals are sacred to Dionysus? ›

The consort of Dionysus was Ariadne. Animals sacred to him include dolphins, serpents, tigers, and donkeys.

Is Dionysus a trickster? ›

The Greek god Dionysus, along with being the god of music and of wine, is known to embody Trickster energy and has long been associated with ancient initiatory rites. As a Trickster figure, Dionysus is likened to instinctual forces in the psyche that lie outside the bounds of all things civilized (Kerenyi, 1976).

Who are Dionysus enemies? ›

Dionysus (a.k.a. Bacchus) is the god of wine, theater, and revelry.
Family & Friends (& Enemies)
ParentsZeus (father) Semele (mother)
FriendsSatyrs Nymphs Maenads Pan Silenus Hermes
EnemiesHera King Pentheus Pirates The Nation of India
1 more row

What foods does Dionysus like? ›

From his blood Dionysos created the first grape-vine.
GOD OF VITICULTUREPatron of: Vineyards; Grape-harvest
GOD OF FRUITPatron of: Fruit; Orchards; Grapes; Apples; Figs; Berries
8 more rows

What are the 12 days of Dionysus? ›

Could the twelve Days of Dionysus, a no-holds-barred celebration of the birth of the Greek god of wine and fertility, held just after the winter solstice, in the second half of the ancient Greek month of Poseidon, climaxing with the epiphany of the God Dionysus to the people, actually be the source of what we now know ...

What Crystal is Dionysus? ›

Dionysus, driven by grief, is said to have poured wine on the stone, turning it purple. As a result, the Amethyst is often associated with romance, lust and love. In fact, the Amethyst gets its name from the Ancient Greeks. It is derived from 'methustos', meaning intoxicated.

What crime did Dionysus commit? ›

"After Dionysos had demonstrated to the Thebans that he was a god, he went to Argos where again he drove the women mad when the people did not pay him honour, and up in the mountains the women fed on the flesh of the babies suckling at their breasts."

What personality type is Dionysus? ›

Dionysus is an ESFP personality type. He is warm, and friendly and loves being the center of attention. As an ESFP, he is the life and soul of the party. Putting on a show comes naturally to people of the ESFP personality type.

Who killed her son worshiping Dionysus? ›


KADMEIDES (Cadmeides) The daughters of King Kadmos of Thebes (central Greece)--Ino, Agaue and Autonoe--each suffered the death of a son by dismemberment (sparagmos), possibly as punishment for slandering of Semele, mother of Dionysos, following her death.

Why did Dionysus turn into a lion? ›

After being mistaken for a prince, he was kidnapped and held for ransom. The god turned into a lion and manifested a bear to help him escape. Dionysus escaped the shackles of the ship, making this particular myth synonymous with freedom and liberty.

Why was Dionysus cursed? ›

(The gods are SO weird!) OR Dionysus is a son of Demeter or Persephone and Zeus and was sent to be eaten by the Titans by a jealous Hera. Zeus swooped in to save the day and found they'd already eaten everything but his heart.

What did Dionysus turn into? ›

Dionysus as an Adult

Legend holds that Dionysus was the first ever to turn grapes into wine. Unfortunately, Hera once again entered his life and drove him mad. He began wandering the earth until the goddess Cybele (Rhea) found him and cured him of the madness.

What are 2 myths of Dionysus? ›

Like Persephone, Dionysus is associated with vegetation myths (death in winter and resurrection in spring). His festival is celebrated in the spring. In one myth, Dionysus is torn to pieces by the Titans, but born again every three years, restored to a new body.

What did Dionysus do to Ariadne? ›

Dionysus takes Ariadne to Olympia and marries her; and he presents her the crown which will later become a star in the sky4. 5 Turcan 1966: 510-535.

Was Dionysus a good husband to Ariadne? ›

At this same time, the myths relate, Dionysos showed himself on the island, and because of the beauty of Ariadne he took the maiden away from Theseus and kept her as his lawful wife, loving her exceedingly.

What happened to Dionysus after Ariadne? ›

In some versions, Ariadne is so distraught that she ends her own life. In other versions, the god Dionysus, also called Bacchus, finds her alone, and consoles her. The two then eventually fall in love. After Ariadne died, Dionysus traveled to the Underworld and brought her back to life to be his immortal wife.

Why did Dionysus go mad? ›

Rhea used the parts to bring him back to life and then had him raised by mountain nymphs. Hera soon discovered that Dionysus was still alive. She drove him to madness that caused him to wander the world.

What was Dionysus weakness? ›

Strengths: Dionysus is the creator of wine. He also shakes things up when it gets dull. Weaknesses: God of intoxication and drunkenness, states he pursues frequently.

Was Dionysus a hermaphrodite? ›

Dionysus regularly appears in two forms, either an older bearded man or a long-haired effeminate youth. This effeminate, almost hermaphroditic statue is based on one dated to the 1st century A.D from Myrina, Greece and is now part of the collections at the Boston Museum of Fine Art.

How was Dionysus killed? ›

Hera was jealous of the child and convinced the Titans to destroy him. Although Dionysus was disguised as a baby goat, the Titans found him, caught him, and tore him to pieces. They ate all of his body except his heart, which was rescued by Athena .

What are 5 interesting facts about Dionysus? ›

Link/cite this page
Rules over:Grape Harvest, Winemaking and Wine, of Ritual Madness, Religious Ecstasy and Theatre
Symbols:Thyrsus, Grapevine, Leopard Skin, Panther, Cheetah
Parents:Zeus and Semele
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Who punished Dionysus? ›

Dionysus, the god of wine, prophecy, religious ecstasy, and fertility, returns to his birthplace in Thebes in order to clear his mother's name and to punish the insolent city state for refusing to allow people to worship him.

Why did Zeus put Dionysus in his thigh? ›

Dionysus is called twice-born because he was born from Semele and then, while she was dying, Zeus saved him by sewing him up in his thigh and keeping him there until he reached maturity. He then "gave birth" to Dionysus, thus making him twice-born.


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