Called Bacchus by the Romans God of wine, agriculture, and fertility of nature. Patron to Greek theater
Dionysus and Greek Theater •The development of Greek Theater developed from the worship of Dionysus in Athens. •The theater of Dionysus was on the south slope of the Athenian acropolis and held room for an audience of 17,000. •There were also dramatic contests at the Rural Dionysia and the Lenaia festival. •Lenaia is a synonym for maenad, which is used to describe Dionysus frenzied worshipers.
Son of Zeus and mortal woman, Semele Zeus came to Semele in the form of a mortal but she was told he was a god Hera found out and came to Semele in disguise and convinced her that she should see her lover as he really was Semele made Zeus promise to grant her one wish
He agreed and she requested that he show her his true form. Having sworn, he had no choice but to comply Semele was killed instantly by the sight of his glory Zeus managed to rescue Dionysus from her womb and stitched him into his own thigh Dionysus was granted immortality
Hera, still jealous, arranged for the Titans to kill Dionysus Titans ripped him to pieces, but Rhea (wife of Cronus) brought him back to life Zeus then arranged for his safety and turned him over to the Nymphs of Nysa to be raised The nymphs later became his followers
Often compared to half-brother, Apollo Apollo is rational and thoughtful while Dionysus is libido and gratification.
Has the power to drive his followers mad and is at the heart of the savage madness that leads to brutal murder on occasion Sometimes associated with Hades, one of the few gods that can bring dead people out of the underworld Representation of the raw, primal desires and indulgences of humans
One of the most important gods of everyday life Associated with the key concept of rebirth after death His dismemberment and return to life echoes the tending of vines
Numerous bars, clubs, etc. (places considered those of indulgence and careless gratification) named after him He is considered a Christ figure for his death and return to life and celebration of bread and wine. Many modern scholars believe that the use of bible story of the Marriage at Cana (where Jesus turns water into wine) was intended to show Jesus as superior to Dionysus.