Dionysus was the ancient Greek god of wine, winemaking, grape cultivation, fertility, ritual madness, theater, and religious ecstasy. His Roman name was Bacchus. As wine was a major part of ancient Greek culture, Dionysus was an important and popular figure in mythology. He was one of the twelve Olympians, although he was the last to arrive, and his unusual birth and upbringing marked him as an outsider. Earlier images and descriptions of Dionysus depict him as a mature male, bearded and robed holding a fennel staff tipped with a pine-cone. However, in later images the god is show to be a beardless, sensuous, naked or semi-naked androgynous youth. He was the son of Zeus and the mortal Semele, making Dionysus semi-device or a hero. The most common origin given for Dionysus was that he was the son of Zeus and Semele. Zeus seduced and impregnated the beautiful princess of Thebes, but then a jealous Hera tricked Semele into demanding that Zeus reveal his true form to her.
SYMBOLS & ATTRIBUTES
Dionysus , also spelled Dionysos , also called Bacchus or in Rome Liber Pater , in Greco-Roman religion, a nature god of fruitfulness and vegetation, especially known as a god of wine and ecstasy. The occurrence of his name on a Linear B tablet 13th century bce shows that he was already worshipped in the Mycenaean period, although it is not known where his cult originated. In all the legends of his cult, he is depicted as having foreign origins. Dionysus was the son of Zeus and Semele , a daughter of Cadmus king of Thebes. Zeus complied, but his power was too great for the mortal Semele, who was blasted with thunderbolts. However, Zeus saved his son by sewing him up in his thigh and keeping him there until he reached maturity, so that he was twice born.
Dionysus or Dionysos is the god of the vine, grape harvest, winemaking, wine and ritual madness, religious ecstasy, theaters and fertility. He is known as the patron of arts and is the son of Zeus and Semele , although in some versions he is son of Hades or Zeus and Persephone , who also in some versions is his sister. Dionysus had an unusual birth that evokes the difficulty in fitting him into the Olympian pantheon, as his mother was Semele Daughter of Cadmus , a mortal woman, and his father Zeus , the king of the gods.
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. Dionysos was a son of Zeus and the princess Semele of Thebes. During the course of her pregnancy, the god's jealous wife Hera tricked Semele into asking Zeus to appear before her in his full glory. Bound by oath, the god was forced to comply and she was consumed by the heat of his lightning-bolts. Zeus recovered their unborn child from her body, sewed him up in his own thigh, and carried him to term. After his birth from the thigh of Zeus, Dionysos was first entrusted to the care of Seilenos Silenus and the nymphs of Mount Nysa, and later to his aunt Ino, Semele's sister, and her husband Athamas. Hera was enraged when she learned of the boy's location and drove the couple mad, causing them to kill both their children and themselves. The Thrakian king Lykourgos Lycurgus attacked Dionysos and his companions as they were travelling through his land and drove them into the sea.