Dionysus

The Greek God of Wine

Dionysus

Dionysus is the Greek God of wine and intoxication, vegetation, pleasure and festivity.

He is one of the younger Olympians.

Birth

Dionysus is the son of the god Zeus and the mortal woman Semele. When Zeus promised to grant Semele one wish, she wished to see him in his godly form. Zeus knew this would burn her up, but he had no choice but to appear before her in his godly form. As Semele was burning, he took the child from her and sewed it to his thigh. After time, Dionysus was born.

Appearance

Dionysus is said to look like an old god, or a youth, usually effeminate. He also is depicted as having a beard.


He travels in a band that usually contains Satyrs (creatures with a human body, but goat-like legs) and bacchantes (extremely devoted women followers).


Dionysus carries a thyrsos, a staff with a pine cone on the top and usually a drinking cup. He is occasionally by a leopard and grape vines.

Family

Dionysus has a mortal mother, Semele, and a Godly father, Zeus. His half brother is Apollo.


Because he only has one immortal parent, he had trouble convincing the Gods that he was one of them. Hera, Zeus's wife, hated Dionysus because his mother was Semele and Hera was jealous of her. Dionysus wanted Hera to like him and to be accepted as one of the Gods, so he help Hera out of a trap. Hera had a son, Hephaestus, who was ugly, so she banished him from Olympus. He tricked her into a chair with invisible constraints. Dionysus then got Hephaestus drunk and convinced him to undo the bonds. Because of this, Hera lessened her hatred to him and accepted him as a god.


Dionysus' wife is named Ariadne. Ariadne helped Theseus, a hero, defeat the Minotaur, a monster with the body of a bull. They planned to marry, but Dionysus stole Ariadne from Theseus and they fell in love.

Dionysus and the Tuscan Pirates

Once, Pirates found Dionysus in the form of a handsome young man. Figuring he may have been of royalty, they captured him and brought him on board. The Pirates were confused because he was acting peacefully and smiling. After they tried to tie him up and the rope came unbound every time, the helmsman thought he was a god and wanted to set him free, but the captain ignored him. Once they were out to sea, grape vines started to appear and wine started spilling all over the ship. Dionysus then took the form of a lion and attacked the captain. The crew members who tried to jump overboard were changed into dolphins. The helmsman was spared and Dionysus showed him who he really was.

Works Cited

Website 1:

N.S. Gill. “Dionysus - Greek God Dionysus.” About Education. About Education. Web. 9 November

2014

http://ancienthistory.about.com/cs/grecoromanmyth1/p/Dionysus.htm


Website 2:

“Dionysus.” Theoi Greek Mythology. Theoi Greek Mythology. Web. 9 November 2014.

http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/Dionysos.html


Book:


Jordan, Michael. Encyclopedia of Gods. New York: Facts on File, Inc., 1993. Print.


Database:


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

ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 7 Nov. 2014.


http://ancienthistory.abc-clio.com/Search/Display/586932?terms=dionysus