Fact 2: The names of his parents were
Zeus and Semele, a princess of Thebes.
He was the only god to have a mother who
was a mortal
Fact 3: He is often featured as one of
the 12 Olympians but some Greek
historians include the goddess Hestia -
hence some of the confusion related to
names of the 12 Olympian gods
Fact 4: He is often represented as the
protector of those who do not belong to
conventional society and therefore
symbolizes everything which is chaotic,
dangerous and unexpected which can only
be attributed to the unforeseeable
action of the gods.
Fact 5: One of his symbols was the
thyrsos which was a magical staff or
wand entwined with vine leaves with a
pinecone on the top. The staff, or wand,
could turn a rock into water and the
water into wine
Fact 6: Dionysus was involved in a
famous conflict with King Lycurgus of
Thrace. The king banned Dionysus from
his kingdom and in retaliation the god
sent a drought to Thrace
Fact 7: When Hephaestus bound Hera to a
magical throne from which she could not
escape, Dionysus got him drunk and
brought him back to Olympus after he
Fact 8: He taught men how to plant and
tend the grapevine, press the juice and
make it into wine.
Fact 9: Silenus, a satyr, acted as nurse
and teacher to the little wine god.
Fact 10: He saved pirates from drowning
by changing them into dolphins.
Fact 11: Bacchanalia: His Roman
counterpart was Bacchus. Rites
associated with worship of the god of
wine, Dionysus (or Bacchus in Roman
mythology), were characterized by
maniacal dancing to the sound of loud
music and crashing cymbals, and
revellers, called Bacchantes, whirled,
shouted, became drunk and incited one
another to greater and greater ecstasy.
Fact 12: He wandered the world actively
encouraging his cult accompanied by the
Maenads. The Maenads wild women, flushed
with wine, their shoulders draped with a
fawn skin, carrying rods tipped with
pine cones (thyrsos).
Fact 13: He was one of the very few that
was able to bring a dead person back
from the underworld.
Fact 14: As he grew up he discovered the
culture of the vine and the mode of
extracting its precious juice. He
travelled the world teaching men the art
Fact 15: He discovered his wife Ariadne
on the island of Naxos, where she had
been abandoned by Theseus