Dionysus
Dionysus

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Pirates & Dolphins by Homer
God of Many Names
Origin
But was he bi?
Sacred Animals
1 of 12 Olympians
St Denys


Young and old, wild and civilized, near and far, beyond and here-below are joined in him and by him. Even more, he abolishes the distance that separates the gods from men and men from animals.
 
Jean-Pierre Vernant

"The god of the most blessed ecstasy and the most enraptured love. 
But he was also the persecuted god, the suffering and dying god, and all whom he loved, all who attended him, had to share his tragic fate"

(Walter F, Otto, 49). 

Jim Morrison

DVD at amazon

Jim Morrison, consciously evoked the the archetype of Dionysus before his tragic death at the age of 27.
"Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free."

 "Sometimes...I like to think of the history of rock & roll like the origin of Greek drama. That started out on the threshing floors during the crucial seasons, and was originally a band of acolytes dancing and singing. Then, one day, a possessed person jumped out of the crowd and started imitating a god..."


"Expose yourself to your deepest fear, after that the fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes, you are free.


"Some of the worst mistakes in my life have been haircuts,


"Where is the wine we were promised, the new wine...?"

 
James Dean Stand Up

Dream as if you'll live forever,
live as if you'll die today"

James Dean

Elvis Presley lives on in the culture as a Dionysian like deity

Although is considered  a faithful husband of Ariadne, he marries late in his story: Here's the wiki list of Consorts and Children of Dionysus
Some Miracles of Dionysos
by Sannion
March of Bacchus:

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"Fauns with youthful Bacchus follow;
Ivy crowns that brow, supernal
As the forehead of Apollo,
And possessing youth eternal.

"Round about him fair Bacchantes,
Bearing cymbals, flutes and thyrses,
Wild from Naxian groves of Zante's
Vineyards, sing delirious verses."
 
"Bacchus that first from out the purple grapes
Crushed the sweet poison of misused wine,
After the Tuscan mariners transformed,
Coasting the Tyrrhene shore as the winds listed
On Circe's island fell; (who knows not Circe,
The daughter of the Sun? whose charmed cup
Whoever tasted lost his upright shape,
And downward fen into a grovelling swine.)"

Milton's "Comus," at line 46

"Bacchus, as Dionysos, is of Indian origin. Cicero mentions him as a son of Thyone and Nisus. Dionysos means the god Dis from Mount Nys in India.... Dionysos is preeminently the deity on whom were centered all the hopes for future life; in short, he was the god who was expected to liberate the souls of men from their prisons of flesh."
     - M. P. Blavatsky, Isis Unveiled
"He is a god of prophecies.
Those whom his spirit fills become possessed
and have clairvoyant powers;
and when he takes a person absolutely,
he mouths the future through that person’s mouth."
The Bacchae


The Survival of the Pagan Gods


Greek Gods, Human Lives


Greek Gods and Heroes
By Robert Graves


Dithyrambs of Dionysus


Gods of Love and Ecstasy


Gods, Goddesses, and Monsters


The Power of Myth
Joseph Campbell

 

Dionysus, a late arrival in the Greek pantheon of deities, nevertheless dominated the work of artists in his day. The promoter of civilization, a lawgiver, conqueror, and lover of peace is the patron deity of both nature and the theater.
Medallion with Dionysus and Maenad

Dionysus & maenad 55-79 A.D holding up a silver cantharus [drinking-cup with handles] and a thyrsus, symbols of his energy and wine which itself is symbolic of the process of fermentation and the spiritization of matter. The use of perspective in rendering the maenad is remarkable for this time period.
From Herculaneum National
 Archaeological Museum Naples

 Although he is best known today as the Carnival diety, Bacchus, the god of wine, his role as Lord of Souls and the god who brings us into balance with the culture's Apollonian affinity continues to act as inspiration and guide to new generations.

At his most popular in Greece, his worship inspired cults with dancing maenad women; the mask, theater as we know it today; the worship of the vulnerable child; the altered state of being outside yourself through wild joy or elixirs; the somber madness and depths of silence; the vine and juices of nature; and the God's special relation with women, especially his sole wife Ariadne.

Dionysus or Dionysos (Ancient Greek: Διώνυσος or Διόνυσος; also known as Bacchus in both Greek and Roman mythology and associated with the Italic Liber), the Thracian god of wine, represents not only the intoxicating power of wine, but also its social and beneficent influences. In the Thracian mysteries, he wears the "bassaris" or fox-skin, symbolizing new life. His own rites, the Dionysian Mysteries were the most enigmatic of all, yet compelling enough that the Christian church included it in the sacrament of the Eucharist.

Dionysus, the god of vine-growing and wine-making, was son of Zeus and Semele, daughter of the Theban king Cadmus. Following the advice of the jealous Hera, Semele asked her lover to appear in his majesty. The supreme god of Olympus appeared before the princess surrounded with glittering lightnings. Semele, caught by the fire, gave birth to a son and died. Zeus put the baby into his hip where he grew and got stronger before he was born once again. Hermes, the messenger of gods, took the baby to nymphs to be brought up. When Dionysus grew older he traveled round the Earth, granting vines to people and teaching them vine-growing.

On the island Naxos Dionysus met his beloved Ariadne, daughter of the king of Crete, deserted by Theseus. She became the wife of the god and his priestess. Dionysus's old wise teacher Silenus and the goatlike Pan, the patron of forests and pastures, were his inseparable companions. In the suite of Dionysus were also satyrs and maenads snow leopards, tigers, panthers and goats.

A great many statues and images dedicated to Dionysus survive today. The earliest of them represent him with beard, long hair, in long ceremonial clothing. The story of his innocent days amidst nature, also assure the god of wine-making being shown as a young boy with a wreath of vines on his head, with a chalice and a vine-grape in his hands.

Dionysos on the Boat by Homer
I will tell of Dionysus, the son of glorious Semele, how he appeared on a jutting headland by the shore of the fruitless sea, seeming like a stripling in the first flush of manhood: his rich, dark hair was waving about him, and on his strong shoulders he wore a purple robe. Presently there came swiftly over the sparkling sea Tyrsenian (30) pirates on a well- decked ship -- a miserable doom led them on. When they saw him they made signs to one another and sprang out quickly, and seizing him straightway, put him on board their ship exultingly; for they thought him the son of heaven-nurtured kings. They sought to bind him with rude bonds, but the bonds would not hold him, and the withes fell far away from his hands and feet: and he sat with a smile in his dark eyes. Then the helmsman understood all and cried out at once to his fellows and said:

(ll. 17-24) `Madmen! What god is this whom you have taken and bind, strong that he is? Not even the well-built ship can carry him. Surely this is either Zeus or Apollo who has the silver bow, or Poseidon, for he looks not like mortal men but like the gods who dwell on Olympus. Come, then, let us set him free upon the dark shore at once: do not lay hands on him, lest he grow angry and stir up dangerous winds and heavy squalls.'

(ll. 25-31) So said he: but the master chid him with taunting words: `Madman, mark the wind and help hoist sail on the ship: catch all the sheets. As for this fellow we men will see to him: I reckon he is bound for Egypt or for Cyprus or to the Hyperboreans or further still. But in the end he will speak out and tell us his friends and all his wealth and his brothers, now that providence has thrown him in our way.'

(ll. 32-54) When he had said this, he had mast and sail hoisted on the ship, and the wind filled the sail and the crew hauled taut the sheets on either side. But soon strange things were seen among them. First of all sweet, fragrant wine ran streaming throughout all the black ship and a heavenly smell arose, so that all the seamen were seized with amazement when they saw it. And all at once a vine spread out both ways along the top of the sail with many clusters hanging down from it, and a dark ivy-plant twined about the mast, blossoming with flowers, and with rich berries growing on it; and all the thole-pins were covered with garlands. When the pirates saw all this, then at last they bade the helmsman to put the ship to land. But the god changed into a dreadful lion there on the ship, in the bows, and roared loudly: amidships also he showed his wonders and created a shaggy bear which stood up ravening, while on the forepeak was the lion glaring fiercely with scowling brows. And so the sailors fled into the stern and crowded bemused about the right-minded helmsman, until suddenly the lion sprang upon the master and seized him; and when the sailors saw it they leapt out overboard one and all into the bright sea, escaping from a miserable fate, and were changed into dolphins. But on the helmsman Dionysus had mercy and held him back and made him altogether happy, saying to him:

(ll. 55-57) `Take courage, good...; you have found favour with my heart. I am loud-crying Dionysus whom Cadmus' daughter Semele bare of union with Zeus.'

(ll. 58-59) Hail, child of fair-faced Semele! He who forgets you can in no wise order sweet song.


From: Oliver J. Thatcher, ed., The Library of Original Sources (Milwaukee: University Research Extension Co., 1907), Vol. III: The Roman World, pp. 65-77 fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/livy39.html

http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/
Roman/Texts/secondary/SMIGRA*/Bacchanalia.html

Dionysus and the zodiacal sign of Virgo

A Greek myth tells of Icarius, of Athens, who was instructed by Dionysus in the art of grape growing and wine making. When he shared wine with the peasantry they grew drunk and, thinking he had poisoned them, killed him. To cover up their deed the drunken peasants buried Icarius under a pine tree. Erigone went looking for her missing father, and when she found the grave she hanged herself in the tree out of grief. The gods placed her in the sky - the constellation Virgo. The end of the great age of Virgo
(13,000 BC - 10,860) is also when the last ice age ended and humans began the first efforts in the Mediterranean which many millennium later would become the first  civilizations


 
St Denys

St Dionysus (Denys, Denis or Dennis) is a Christianised form of the Dionysus. There is actually a number of saints by this name, the best known being this St Dionysus, the patron of France (whose feast day the Christian church set at around the time of the Oschophoria – October 3 ).

St Denys had his head cut off, he did not care for that,
He took it up and carried it two miles without his hat.
Traditional English


St Denys was the Apostle to the Gauls, and traditional
Saint Denis carrying his headpatron of France. He was executed by beheading on the highest hill near Paris (now Montmartre),  [272 or 258 A.D.] which being the highest hill in the area was also likely to have been a druidic holy place. The martyrdom of Denis and his companions gave the name of Montmartre, in French literally the mountain of the martyr. According to the Golden Legend, after his head was chopped off, St Denis picked it up and walked several miles, all the time preaching a sermon. The site where he stopped preaching and actually died was made into a small shrine that developed into the Saint Denis Basilica, which became the burial place for the Kings of France.

This walk has led to St Denis being depicted in art as headless, holding his mitred head in his hands. Handling the halo in this circumstance offers a unique challenge for the artist. Some put the halo where the head used to be; others have St Denis carrying the halo along with the head.

ORIGIN of Dionysus
Dionysus was the last deity to join the 12 Gods  of Olympus. 

Hestia gave up her position as an Olympian to Dionysus

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Kerenyi traces Dionysus to Minoan Crete, where his Minoan name is unknown but his characteristic presence is recognizable. Clearly, Dionysus had been with the Greeks and their predecessors a long time, and yet always retained the feel of something alien.
The bull, the serpent, the ivy and wine are the signs of the characteristic Dionysian atmosphere, infused with the unquenchable life of the god. Their numinous presence signifies that the god is near. (Kerenyi 1976). Dionysus is strongly associated with the satyrs, centaurs and sileni. He always carries a thyrsus. Besides the grapevine and its wild barren alter-ego, the toxic ivy plant, both sacred to him, the fig was also his. The pine cone that tipped his thyrsus linked him to Cybele, and the pomegranate linked him to Demeter.

Herodotus, (in Histories 2:146) was aware that the worship of Dionysus arrived later among the Greeks than the Olympian pantheon, for he remarks

"as it is, the Greek story has it that no sooner was Dionysus born than Zeus sewed him up in his thigh and carried him away to Nysa in Ethiopia beyond Egypt; and as for Pan, the Greeks do not know what became of him after his birth. It is therefore plain to me that the Greeks learned the names of these two gods later than the names of all the others, and trace the birth of both to the time when they gained the knowledge. "

Ariadne, Dionysus, & Komos

To honour the god of fertility of nature, vegetation, vine-growing and wine-making ancient Greeks held festivals known as Dionysia (Bacchanalia in Rome). Performances, representing scenes from the myths about wonderful birth of Dionysus, his travelling and his appearance in Greece, were held during the Dionysia in Athens. Religious rites devoted to Dionysus gave birth to the ancient Greek tragedy (tragoedia - Greek "song of the goats", i.e. satyrs - the goatlike companions of Dionysus). In Attica the Great or Town Dionysia were devoted to this god. They consisted in solemn processions in his honour, competitions of tragic and comic poets and choruses that performed dithyrambs. New comedies, also dedicated to Dionysus, were performed during the Lenea. The Small or Rural Dionysia represented repetitions of the plays, performed in towns.

Bullfinch.com

www.vroma.org/images/ mcmanus_images/index4.html

uvm.edu/~classics/?Page=mainpagelinks/ambrose.html

http://www.piney.com/GoldBougDiony.html

GOD of Many Names
BAKCHOS  BACHUS  BACHOS  BAKOS BACOS  BAKUS  BACUS

Dionysus is also known as the god of many names. many-forms, and a seat of ambiguity.  Not only is he both masculine and feminine, his very nature is shape-shifting. By holding opposites in dynamic tension, he achieves his power of paradox like no other diety.
He is best known by his Latin name Bacchus (“the mad one”). Also there is Lusios (“the loosener, the liberator”), Bromius (“the roaring one”), and Evius (from the Bacchic cry “Evohé” ) the Roman Liber, and the Etruscan Fufluns.
 Because he was the only god born of a mortal parent Semele who was tricked by Hera into being destroyed by Hera and then rescued and borne from the thigh of Zeus he is called the child of "the double door," or given the epithet "Twice-born."
He is god of the fig-tree, Sykites; he is Kissos, god of the ivy; he is Anthios, god of all blossoming things; he is Phytalmios, god of growth." In short, he is the God of the impulse of life in nature, a God of growth and the green earth.
Another epithet is Dendrites; as Dionysus Dendrites ("he of the trees"), he is a powerful fertility god. Dithyrambos ("he of the double door") is sometimes used to refer to him or solemn songs sung to him at festivals. The name refers to his premature birth.
In the Greek pantheon, Dionysus (along with Zeus) absorbs the role of Sabazios, a Phrygian deity.
Iacchus
, possibly an epithet of Dionysus, is associated with the Eleusinian Mysteries; in Eleusis, he is known as a son of Zeus and Demeter. The name "Iacchus" may come from the iakchos, hymns sung in honor of Dionysus. Eleutherios ("the liberator") was an epithet for both Dionysus and Eros. As Oeneus, he is the god of the wine-press. With the epithet Liknites ("he of the winnowing fan") he is a fertility god connected with the mystery religions. A winnowing fan was similar to a shovel and was used to separate the chaff from the good, cut grain. In addition, Dionysus is known as Lyaeus ("he who releases") as a god of relaxation and freedom from worry.

Dionysus was identified with the lamb, and called "King of Kings," "Only Begotten Son," "Savior," "Redeemer," "Sin bearer," "Anointed One," the "Alpha and Omega."

Here's a list of nearly 100

no god is more widely represented in ancient Greek art than Dionysos

Dionysus was associated with many animals, particularly large cats that rend and tear their prey [more]

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I sing of Dionysus, the son of glorious Semele. He appeared on a jutting headland by the shore of the fruitless sea, seeming like a stripling in the first flush of manhood: his rich, dark hair was waving about him, and on his strong shoulders he wore a purple robe …
Hail, child of fair-faced Semele! He who forgets you can in no wise order sweet song.
Homeric Hymn 7 to Dionysus
When Hephaestus bound Hera to a magical chair, Dionysus got him drunk and brought him back to Olympus after he had passed out. For this act, he was made one of the twelve Olympians.
1 of 12 Olympians
wiki/Twelve_Olympians ||Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Ares, Hermes, Hephaestus, Aphrodite, Athena, Apollo, and Artemis are always considered Olympians. Hestia, Demeter, Dionysus, and Hades are the variable gods among the Twelve. Hestia gave up her position as an Olympian to Dionysus in order to live among mankind (eventually she was assigned the role of tending the fire on Mount Olympus
bulfinch.org
classical bas-relief sculpture of Dionysus
Dionysus or Bacchus. A classical bas-relief sculpture of Dionysus, the ever-youthful god of mystery, paradox, fertility, and midnight revelry, shown holding his characteristic thyrus or fennel wand.

From the Museo Archeologico Nazionale at Naples.

Bisexual or true fidelity?
There are a myth involving a homoerotic relationship with Ampelos, a sweet youth, and Prosymnos, his guide to the realm of Hades. When Dionysos goes to Hades to retrieve his mother, Semele, to bring her to Olympus, he meets Prosymnos on the way. According to Arthur Evans in his book The God of Ecstasy, Christian writer Clement of Alexandria reports:

Dionysos wanted to descend to Hades but did not know the way. A certain Prosymnos promised to show him for a price. The price was indecent but not for Dionysos. The price he asked of Dionysos was a sexual favor. (Evans 34)

Upon his return from the underworld, Dionysos can’t locate Prosymnos because he has died and instead has sex with a wooden dildo made from the branch of a fig tree in order to pay his due to his guide.
Sacred Animals

 
The ram, the dolphin, the serpent, the tiger, the lion, the lynx, the panther, the ox, the goat and the ass are sacred to Dionysus; and his symbols were the phallus, the bull and the thyrsus
 "In intoxication, physical or spiritual, he recovers an intensity of feeling which prudence had destroyed; he finds the world full of delight and beauty, and his imagination is suddenly liberated from the prison of everyday preoccupations. The Bacchic riual produced what was called 'enthusiasm', which means etymologically having the god enter the worshipper, who believed that he became one with the god."

Betrand Russell A History of Western Philosophy



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