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Olympian Gods » Dionysus, the God of Wine and Joy

picture of Dionysus, the God of Wine and Joy in Greek mythology
Greek pronunciation of DionysusGreek pronunciation
English pronunciation of DionysusEnglish pronunciation

Dionysus's representation Dionysus was the Greek God of Wine, Joy and Theatre and a Lover of Peace

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Family of Dionysus

Parents: Dionysus was a son of Zeus, the King of the Gods and the beautiful princess Semele. Because of his mortal mother, his birthplace Thebes refused to acknowledge him as an immortal at first.
Relationships: Aphrodite, the goddess of love, and Nyx, the goddess of the night.
Wife: Ariadne, the princess of Crete
Famous Children: Priapus, Phthonus, Deianira

Personality and Style of Dionysus

Dionysus was a god known for his lightheartness and always offered his help to anyone in need. He was therefore very popular among gods and mortals and many festivals were being held every year in his honor. Nevertheless, Dionysus was many times misunderstood.

Dionysus was one of the Olympian gods who actually did not live in Mount Olympus but was constantly travelling around the world together with Satyrs and Maenads in order to discover the secrets of winemaking.

Origin of Dionysus' name

The origin of Dionysus' name remains an unsolved puzzle until today. According to the poet Pindar, it probably derives from the words "Zeus", the father of Dionysus, and "Nysa", the mountain on which Dionysus was born and raised.

Appearance of Dionysus

Dionysus was a handsome young man with impressive hair (usually tresses falling below his shoulders) and a wreath of ivy on his head. In his hand he was holding a "thyrsos", which was a light staff wrapped with leaves of ivy and a pine cone on its top.

Symbols of Dionysus

The symbols of Dionysus were the thyrsos (a wooden stick wrapped with ivy leaves and vines), the flute and the wine barrels. His sacred animals were the panther and the tiger.

The Roman name of Dionysus is "Bacchus"

Myths and Fables about Dionysus

Dionysus and the Wine of Samos
Dionysus and the Wine of Samos
The Birth of Dionysus
The Birth of Dionysus
Midas and the Touch of Gold
Midas and the Touch of Gold
Dionysus' Punishment on Blasphemy
Dionysus' Punishment on Blasphemy
The Fatal Secrets of Winemaking
The Fatal Secrets of Winemaking

Places of Worship related to Dionysus

Places of worship of Dionysus-Ikaria, the birthplace of Dionysus
Ikaria, the birthplace of Dionysus
Places of worship of Dionysus-Theater of Dionysus
Theater of Dionysus
in Ancient Athens, Greece

Festivals celebrating Dionysus

    Agrania: A festival of the dead celebrated in the city of Argos.
    Agrypnis (vigil): a nocturnal festival in honor of Dionysus which was held annually in Sicily
    Anthesteria: A flower festival celebrated in the city of Athens

Titles of Dionysus

Agrionius ("fierce") , Aigobolos ("Goatslayer ") , Bacchus , Bromios ("noisy") , Charidotes ("giver of charm") , Philoinos ("Wine-Lover") , Philomousos ("Lover of the Muses") , Zoophoros ("Bringer of Life")