God of the Week: Dionysus

Universal Heretic

God of the Week: 9/28/09: Dionysus

Dionysus

Dionysus was the ancient Greek god of wine and celebration and was given credit for liberating people from the toils of daily life. He was the son of the chief god Zeus and the mortal woman Semele.

Like other gods of vegetation Dionysus was believed to have died a violent death, but to have been brought to life again; and his sufferings, death, and resurrection were enacted in his sacred rites. His tragic story is thus told by the poet Nonnus. Zeus in the form of a serpent visited Persephone, and she bore him Zagreus, that is, Dionysus, a horned infant. Scarcely was he born, when the babe mounted the throne of his father Zeus and mimicked the great god by brandishing the lightning in his tiny hand. But he did not occupy the throne long; for the treacherous Titans, their faces whitened with…

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