Dionysus, the greek god of fertility, wine and ecstasy, was popular in much of the ancient world. Rome was known as Bacchus. A complex deity, Dionysus was the two very different roles in Greek mythology. As the god of fertility, was closely tied to crop harvest and the changing seasons. As the god of wine and ecstasy, he joined drunkenness, madness and unbridled sexuality. The nature of production, life-giving hand, and the brutal, destructive side.
History and background. Dionysus did not start like a Greek god. His cult had its roots in Thrace (northern Greece), Phrygia (now Turkey), or possibly on the island of Crete. Many Greek cities initially rejected the cult of Dionysus because of his foreign origin and their rituals wild drunk. When the cult came to Rome, the faithful celebrated the feast in secret. However, both Greece and Rome, the cult of Dionysus end of the resistance and has won many followers.
The most common myth about the origins of Dionysus said he was the son of Zeus and Semele *, daughter of the founder of Thebes. jealous wife of Zeus, Hera, wanted to know the identity of the father of the child. She disguises herself as an old nurse of Semele and went to Semele. When Semele told him that the father was Zeus, Hera challenged to prove his claim that Zeus appears in all its glory. Semele did. But because Zeus was the god of lightning, his power was too much for one man to carry. Semele was turned into ashes.
Before Semele died, Zeus, Dionysus, pulled out of the womb. Then he opened his thigh, Zeus set the extension unborn child. A few months later, she opened her thighs, and Dionysus was born. Child was Semele’s sister Ino, who played a girl disguised to protect her from Hera. As punishment for helping Dionysus Hera drove Ino and her husband crazy.
Some legends say that Hera has also led Dionysus mad. Then Dionysus wandered the world accompanied by her teacher, Silenus, bands of satyrs, and his disciples women who were known as maenads. When Dionysus went to Egypt, he introduced the cultivation of grapes and the art of winemaking. When he visited Libya, he established an oracle in the desert. He also traveled to India, by winning all his opponents and laws, cities and wine country on the way back to Greece, he met his grandmother, the earth goddess Cybele. She has recovered from his madness and taught him the mysteries of life and resurrection.
This story has three themes running through the legend of Dionysus. A theme is the hostility that Dionysus and his face both worship Hera and from residents of the places he visits. The second is an association of Dionysus with madness. The third is the idea of death and rebirth, an important part of the identity of Dionysus as the god of harvest and fertility.
Dionysus influence on fertility extended beyond crops to animals and humans. This power allowed him to Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and fertility, was known to the Romans as Bacchus. This painting, completed by Caravaggio in the late 1590s, shows the young god crowned with vine leaves.
Symbol of the creative forces, the forces of nature. Women have come to worship because of its association with the responsibilities of women of childbearing age and harvest. According to tradition, these women leave their families and travel the country to participate in festivals of Dionysus, known as Bacchanalia in Rome. They wore animal skins and sticks called thyrsi made of fennel stalks attached to the vine and ivy. The thyrsi were symbols of fertility and reproduction and drink also.
In the festival will Dionysia Maenads trance, dance, the rhythm of drums and waving thyrsi. Sometimes go crazy, they had supernatural powers. It was said that Maenads could destroy animals and even humans, with their bare hands.
In one myth, Dionysus visited Thebes disguised as a young man and caused women to fall under its power. He drove to a hill outside the city, where they took part in its rituals. Pentheus, king of Thebes, Dionysus was furious and imprisoned. Miraculously, the chains fell off and opened the jail cell by himself. Dionysus tells Pentheus by wild parties, he would see if it is disguised as a woman and went to the mountain. The king, dressed as a woman hiding in a tree to see Denise. However, having seen women in their folly, passed for a puma. They killed him, tearing off part of the joint.
The wine and madness. Drunkenness and madness are the items that appear in most stories of Dionysus. In one story, Dionysus was disguised as a boy and drunk on an island near Greece. Some hackers had found and promised to take him to Naxos, Dionysus said that was his home. However, hackers have decided to sell the child to slavery. One of them, AcOEt, opposed the plan. When the pirates turned the ship away from Naxos, the wind died down. Suddenly, a tangle of vines covered the boat. The oars turned into snakes, bunches of grapes grown in the head of Dionysus, and wild animals came and played at his feet. Driven to madness, pirates jumped overboard. AcOEt just saved. He sailed the boat to Naxos, where Dionysus made a priest of the cult. Naxos Dionysius was also met with the princess Ariadne, who became his wife.
One of the most famous stories of Dionysus, the King Midas and the golden touch. Dionysus, a teacher, Silenus was used to get drunk and forget where he was. One day, after drinking, Silenus Midas was lost on the road in the kingdom. He fell in the jacuzzi and would have drowned had saved him from Midas. As a reward, Dionysus granted Midas what he wanted. Midas asked that whatever he touched turn gold. When you want to Midas was granted, however, noted that all his food turned to gold, and he could not eat. Then, when he embraced his daughter, turned to gold as well. Dionysos removed Midas golden touch after the king had learned the price of his greed.
The death and resurrection of God. Because crops wither in winter and spring, Dionysus was considered a symbol of death and resurrection. In another story of his birth, Dionysus was the son of Zeus and Demeter, the goddess of crops and vegetation. Hera was jealous of the child and convinced the Titans to kill him. Although Dionysus was dressed as a goat, the Titans found him, grabbed him and broke into pieces. They ate everything except her heart, which was rescued by Athena *. She has the heart to Zeus, who gave to Semele to eat. Semele gave birth to Dionysus again. The story represents the earth (Demeter) and heaven (Zeus) gave birth to the cultures (Dionisio), who die every winter and is reborn again in the spring.
Apollo and Dionysus
In his analysis of ancient Greece, the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche used the terms Dionysian and Apollonian to describe the two sides of human nature. Dionysian-sensual desires and irrational impulses, are named after Dionysius. The term refers to the Apollonian rational human behavior associated with the god Apollo *. Interestingly, these two gods, with their very different natures, in fact shared a sanctuary of Delphi. Dionysus had the gift of prophecy, and the priests of Delphi as well as his honor honor of Apollo.