Dionysus

God of wine and fertility

Birth

Dionysus was born as the son of Zeus, the king of the gods, and Semele, daughter of the founder of Thebes. (Boswell 1-40) Zeus accidentally killed his mother, but before she died, Zeus took Dionysus and put him inside of his thigh. After a few months, Dionysus was born. (Hansen)

Myths

During his mortal life, Dionysus traveled the world and interacted with many people. This led to many myths about his travels.



  • King Midas saved Dionysus's mentor, Silenus, and in return Dionysus gave him anything he wanted. King Midas asked for the power to have everything that he touched turn to gold, to which Dionysus reluctantly agreed. King Midas eventually realized that this was a harmful power, and Dionysus took away his power. ("Dionysus")
  • Once Dionysus disguised himself as a young man when he was taken aboard a ship by pirates. He asked to be taken to Naxos, but the pirates had other ideas. They wanted to sell him into slavery, and only one of them disagreed. Dionysus, disguised as a young boy, turned the ship into grapevines and killed all of the pirates. The only one he left alive was the pirate who didn't want to sell him into slavery, this pirate took him to Naxos. ("Dionysus")
  • When Dionysus was trying to convince the gods to make him one of the Olympians, one of his biggest opponents was Hera. Hera had just bore a son, Hephaestus, who she threw off of Olympus. He sent her a chair with invisible bonds that no one could get her free from. Dionysus went to where Hephaestus was hiding, got him drunk, and brought him back to Olympus, where he freed Hera from the contraption. Hera then became one of Dionysus's supporters and he was eventually made an Olympian, the god of wine and fertility. (Hansen)

Worship

When Dionysus traveled the world before he became a god, he developed a cult following. To worship him, his followers (mostly women) would go to the mountains and participate in ecstatic rituals while wearing animal skins. They were usually drunk for this and would dance and wave wooden wands around. ("Dionysus")

Godhood

Dionysus was the god of wine and fertility. This led to two sides of his personality, a productive, helpful side, and a mad, destructive side. The productive side was linked to wine's nourishing properties and the fertility of crops. The mad side was linked to drunkenness caused by wine and the madness he sometimes bestowed on others. ("Dionysus)
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Works Cited

Boswell, Fred, and Jeanetta Boswell. What Men or Gods Are These?

N.p.: Jeanetta Boswell,1980. Print.

"Dionysus." UXL Encyclopedia of World Mythology. Vol. 2. N.p.: UXL, 2009.

Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 9 Nov. 2014.

Hansen, William. "Dionysus." World History: Ancient and Medieval Eras.

ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 9 Nov. 2014.

Parada, Carlos. "Dionysus 2." Dionysus 2 - Greek Mythology Link.

Carlos Parada and Maicar Förlag, 1997. Web. 9 Nov. 2014.