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DIONYSOS, the youthful, beautiful, but effeminate god of wine. When all entreaties to desist from this request were fruitless, Zeus at length complied, and appeared to her in thunder and lightning. Various epithets which are given to the god refer to that occurrence, such as purigenês, mêrorraphês, mêrotraphês and xlv. The plain of Brasiae was, for this reason, afterwards called the garden of Dionysus. 69), and the nymphs Philia, Coronis, and Cleis, in Naxos, whither the child Dionysus was said to have been carried by Zeus (Diod. 52), are named as the beings to whom the care of his infancy was entrusted. Hither turn with favour thy virginal face; with thy star-bright countenance drive away the clouds, the grim threats of Erebus, and greedy fate.He is also called both by Greeks and Romans Bacchus (Bakchos), that is, the noisy or riotous god, which was originally a mere epithet or surname of Dionysus, but does not occur till after the time of Herodotus. 9.) The same diversity of opinions prevails in regard to the native place of the god, which in the common tradition is Thebes, while in others we find India, Libya, Crete, Dracanum in Samos, Naxos, Elis, Eleutherae, or Teos, mentioned as his birthplace. Semele was terrified and overpowered by the sight, and being seized by the fire, she gave premature birth to a child. The traditions about the education of Dionysus, as well as about the personages who undertook it, differ as much as those about his parentage and birthplace. Mystis, moreover, is said to have instructed him in the mysteries (Nonn. 4); Macris, the daughter of Aristaeus, received him from the hands of Hermes, and fed him with honey. Thee it becomes to circle thy locks with flowers of the springtime, thee to cover thy head with Tyrian turban, or thy smooth brow to wreathe with the ivy's clustering berries; now to fling loose thy lawless-streaming locks, again to bind them in a knot close-drawn; in such guise as when, fearing thy stepdame's [Hera's] wrath, thou didst grow to manhood with false-seeming limbs, a pretended maiden with golden ringlets, with saffron girdle binding thy garments.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. § 7.) The last feat of Dionysus was performed on a voyage from Icaria to Naxos. But when the goddesses had brought him up, a god oft hymned, then began he to wander continually through the woody coombes, thickly wreathed with ivy and laurel.Bound by oath, the god was forced to comply and she was consumed by the heat of his lightning-bolts. 65.) All the host of Bacchantic women and Satyrs, who had accompanied him, were taken prisoners by Lycurgus, but the women were soon set free again. § 1.) Afterwards, however, Dionysus and Perseus became reconciled, and the Argives adopted the worship of the god, and built temples to him. He hired a ship which belonged to Tyrrhenian pirates; but the men, instead of landing at Naxos, passed by and steered towards Asia to sell him there. And the Nymphai followed in his train with him for their leader; and the boundless forest was filled with their outcry.As punishment, the god inflicted him with madness causing him to murder his wife and son and mutilate himself with an axe. 70, &c.) He is even said to have gone to Iberia, which, on leaving, he entrusted to the government of Pan. 16.) On his passage through Thrace he was ill received by Lycurgus, king of the Edones, and leaped into the sea to seek refuge with Thetis, whom he afterwards rewarded for her kind reception with a golden urn, a present of Hephaestus. Pentheus, who then ruled at Thebes, endeavoured to check the riotous proceedings, and went out to the mountains to seek the Bacchic women; but his own mother, Agave, in her Bacchic fury, mistook him for an animal, and tore him to pieces. As the people there also refused to acknowledge him, he made the women mad to such a degree, that they killed their own babes and devoured their flesh. 'Tis thine mad footsteps with mad Nymphai to beat, dancing through groves with lightly leaping feet: from Zeus' high counsels nursed by Persephoneia, and born the dread of all the powers divine.
772.) As the god of wine, he is also both an inspired and an inspiring god, that is, a god who has the power of revealing the future to man by oracles. Death and reincarnation was an important part of the Dionysian cult.
Others again represent him as a son of Zeus by Persephone or Iris, or describe him simply as a son of Lethe, or of Indus. On an unseemly ass old Silenus attends thee, his swollen temples bound with ivy garlands; while thy wanton initiates lead the mystic revels.