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Dionysus is the god of anything "delicious", he was the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness and ecstasy in Greek mythology. He was sometimes at the heart of frenzied madness that led to savage murder. Writers often contrast Dionysus with his half-brother Apollo. Where Apollo personifies the cerebral aspects of mankind, Dionysus represents the libido and gratification.
He is a major, popular figure of Greek mythology and religion, and is included in some lists of the twelve Olympians. His festivals were the driving force behind the development of Greek theatre.
He was also known as Bacchus, the name adopted by the Romans.
In Greek mythology, he is presented as a son of Zeus and the mortal Semele, thus semi-divine or heroic: and as son of Zeus and Persephone or Demeter, thus both fully divine, part-chthonic and possibly identical with Iacchus of the Eleusinian Mysteries.
April 26th, 2012
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