DIONYSOS (or Dionysus) was the great Olympian god of wine, vegetation, pleasure and festivity. He was depicted as either an older bearded god or a pretty effeminate, long-haired youth. His attributes included the thyrsos (a pine-cone tipped staff), drinking cup, leopard and fruiting vine. He was usually accompanied by a troop of Satyrs and Mainades (female devotees or nymphs).Some of the more famous myths featuring the god include:-- His birth from the thigh of Zeus and his fostering by Ino, Seilenos and the Nysiades;His flight from Lykourgos who drove the young god and his followers into the sea;The dismemberment of Pentheus who denied the god's divinity and attempted to drive him from Thebes;The instruction of Ikarios in winemaking;The metamorphosis of the Tyrrhenian pirates into dolphins when they attempted to kidnap him;His love for Ariadne who he found abandoned by Theseus on the island of Naxos and wed;His journey to the underworld to recover his mother or wife;His campaign against the Indians.I have chosen one story to tell you about:
Semele was the daughter of Cadmus, the brother of Europa, and Harmonia, the daughter of Ares and Aphrodite.When Zeus and Semele first got to know each other, Zeus was disguised in simple clothes. Zeus'wife, Hera, was angry with both Zeus and Semele. Hera disguised herself as Semele's nurse and made Semele curious about her new boyfriend. The next time Zeus visited, Semele made him promise that the next time he came, he would come to her as he really was. On his next visit, he came as the god Zeus, and Semele was consumed to ashes by his brillance. Zeus took Semele's baby, Dionysus, and nurtured him until he was ready to be born. Once he was born, Zeus gave Dionysus to Hermes to protect the baby from Zeus' wife, who was jealous. Hermes put the baby Dionysus in the care of Io, Semele's sister.
Appearance: Dionysus is usually depicted as a dark haired, bearded young man but he can be shown beardless as well.Dionysus' Symbol or Attribute: Grapes, winecups, and wineskins; the staff formed of a pinecone on a stick called a thyrsus.Strengths: Dionysus is the creator of wine. He also shakes things up when it gets dull.Weaknesses: God of intoxication and drunkenness, states he pursues frequently.