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Facts about Dionysus

Tales beyond belief

Mythical Facts about Dionysus for kids
Discover interesting information and fun facts about Dionysus, the Greek god of god of wine and festivities whose Roman counterpart was Bacchus.

  • Fact 1: He was the god of wine and festivities. The goddess Hera struck him with madness, and drove him to wander through various parts of the earth before he returned to Mount Olympus

  • 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 passed out

  • 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 of winemaking.

  • Fact 15: He discovered his wife Ariadne on the island of Naxos, where she had been abandoned by Theseus

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