Dionysos / Bacchus

God of wine, fruitfulness, parties, festivals, madness, chaos, drunkenness, vegetation, ecstasy, and the theater. He is the twice-born son of Zeus and Semele, in that Zeus snatched him from his mother’s womb and stitched Dionysus into his own thigh and carried him until he was ready to be born. In art he is depicted as either an older bearded god (particularly before 430 BC) or an effeminate, long-haired youth (particularly after 430 BC). His attributes include the thyrsus, a drinking cup, the grape vine, and a crown of ivy. It was once held that Dionysius was a later addition to the Greek pantheon, but new research confirms his status as a deity from an early period. Bacchus was another name for him in Greek, and came into common usage among the Romans.

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