Saturday, January 2, 2016

Greek God Dionysus: the god of wine and celebrations


Seated Greek god Dionysos holding out a kantharos  (Greek Cup) and drinking wine.
Seated Greek god Dionysos holding out a kantharos
(Greek Cup) and drinking wine.
Dionysus is the Greek god of wine, celebrations, ecstasy, and of the art of theater. He is included in the 12 Greek god Pantheon and he is residing at mount Olympus. Symbols include the grapevine, cup, tiger, panther, dolphin, and goat. He is often considered as one of the youngest Olympian gods.

Birth


God Donysus is the son God Zeus and Semele, the daughter of king Cadmus of Thebes. The Greek goddess Hera, Zeus' wife, discovered the affair while Semele was pregnant. According to the myth, Hera appeared as an old crone (or as a nurse), and approached Semele. Semele not knowing that she was the goddess Hera told her that father of the baby was the god Zeus. Goddess Hera pretended not to believe her, and poisoned the mind of  Semele's mind with doubts. Semele demanded of Zeus that he reveal himself in all his glory as proof of his godhood.

Although Zeus initially tried to persuade her not to ask to reveal himself, he eventually agreed. Therefore, he revealed himself in bolts of lightning, killing every immortal that looked at him. According to Greek mythology, no mortal can see an undisguised god without getting killed. Zeus rescued the unborn Dionysus by sewing him into his thigh. A few months later, god Dionysus was born on in the island of Ikaria, where Zeus went to release the now-fully-grown baby from his thigh. 

In the Cretan version of the Greek Myth, god Dionysus was the son of Zeus and Persephone, the queen of the underworld. Again, the goddess Hera attempted to kill the child, by sending Titans. Zeus killed the Titans using his thunderbolts, but only after the Titans ate everything but the heart. Goddess of wisdom Athena (or in other versions Rhea or Demeter) saved his heart. Zeus used the heart to recreate him in his thigh, hence he was again "the twice-born". 

Childhood


According to the Greek myth, Zeus gave the infant Dionysus to the care of Hermes. One version of the story is that god Hermes transferred the child to King Athamas and his wife Ino, Dionysus' aunt. Hermes instructed the couple to raise the boy as a girl, to hide him from Hera's hate. 

When Dionysus grew up, he discovered the culture of the vine and the mode of extracting its precious juice. Unfortunately, goddess Hera did not like the children of Zeus and he struck him with madness. Thus, he had to explore and travel through various parts of the earth. He reached to India, which he stayed several years exploring the area.

Personal life.


Dionysus was exceptionally attractive. When Theseus abandoned the Cretan princess Ariadne sleeping on Naxos, Dionysus found and married her. God Dionysus and princess Ariadne had many children including: Oenopion, Staphylus, Thoas, Peparethus, Phanus, Eurymedon, Euanthes, Latramys, Tauropolis, and Ceramus. He also had affairs with other women including the Greek goddess of beauty, Aphrodite