Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Greece

Olympian Gods » Dionysus

Dionysus, the God of Wine and Joy

Roman name: Bacchus


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.

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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")

Picture Gallery

Dionysus photo gallery


Myths about Dionysus
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