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A 5th century BCE mural of Dionysos

Dionysos, also called Bacchus, is a Greek and Roman god of wine and grapes, theater, fertility, and religious or ritualistic ecstasy. He is regarded by some as one of the Twelve Gods, the major deities of the Greek pantheon.


Dionysos was said to have been born on Naxos Island. At some point, he granted Elais, one of the daughters of King Anios of Delos, the ability to make oil spring from the ground.[1]

He was also said to have been initiated into mysteries and ecstasy by the goddess of fertility Kybele.[1]

Legacy and influence

In the Greek myths, Dionysos' female followers were called Maenads, known for their frenzied revelries. Along with them, satyrs often accompanied the god, as well as did a number of humans, enough to give birth to a cult.[1]

During the 5th century BCE in Greece, statues depicting Dionysos were often located near vineyards, like the one on Markos' vineyard, and taverns. Of special note is the one located in Korinth, Korinthia, said to be hewn from the tree in which King Pentheus of Thebes hid to spy on the Maenads.[1]

In Athens, a house deemed as one of the most beautiful houses in the city was dedicated to Dionysos after its former owner performed a parody of the Eleusinian Mysteries, and was subsequently punished for it. The Theater of Dionysos, known for being the first to introduce theater to the city, was also dedicated to him.[1]

In his birth island of Naxos, a temple was built to celebrate him in order for him to bless their vines and wine production. It housed several festivities for Dionysos each year.[1]

The misthios Kassandra also recovered an armor set dedicated to the god.[1]





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