Dionysus; Bacchus
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Symbols: Ivy, vine, grape bunches, wine cup, leopard
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Dionysus is the God of wine, parties, and drama
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· Parties often were drinking parties (symposiums), which were intellectual conversation, usually over wine. The ideal number of guests was nine, and there were strict rules. Guests were not usually permitted to drink as much as they like, and symposiums had a purpose, which was to have serious conversation and discuss philosophical questions.
ex)"What was the purpose of life? What is justice and truth? Can we live under unconditional loyalty? Are the gods to be trusted? Are women really inferior? Is drinking the answer?"



Tell the creation story of your deity. Who are his/her parents? Who are his/her offspring?
He was born in Thebes and was the son of Zeus and Semele, a Theban princess. He was the only born god who didn’t have two divine parents, and was born a god because Zeus stitched him into his thigh until he was ready to be born. Dionysus was born from Zeus, not his mother because Zeus burned his mother while fulfilling a promise of showing her his true form. He eventually rescued his mother from the Underworld and brought her back to Mount Olympus.
Dionysus fell in love with Ariande, the princess of Crete. There are different versions of their story; one telling that they had many famous children and another saying that she was shot and killed in childbirth and he placed a crown in the sky for her.


Historical background of your deity. What role did he/she play in Greek life?
He was the last god to enter Olympus, because Homer did not admit him.
He was accepted as a god everywhere except for near and in his own country and traveled around, teaching the mysteries and culture of the vine and his worship. He is sometimes seen as a god who is joyful and fun, but sometimes portrayed as brutal and heartless.


· Identify any associations with other cultures (other than Roman or Etruscan). Explain how/why they are connected.
Dionysus is related to many culture's other deities. This is common for a multitude of gods and goddesses throughout ancient history. In this case Dionysus is like the Egyptian god, Horus and Krishna, who is from Indian culture. Also, he is similar to Mithra, who was worshiped in Persia. These gods are all related because of their similar stories and myths of being crucified and resurrected. For Dionysus he is said to be twice born in some myths and stories after being ripped apart by the Titans. Also, all of these particular gods had many followers who worshiped them and traveled with them. Dionysus had Maenads, who were wild women-like disciples who were close with nature and lived in forests. These other gods had disciples and followers who did their bidding as well. Gods deeply affected Greek, Indian, Persian and Egyptian cultures along with Roman and even Myan's across the world. They all have similar kinds of gods, like a sun god and a god of the afterlife, because they were all trying to figure out the same life around them. Each has its own story but that can be similar to other mythological stories in different cultures as well.

· Identify any rituals associated with your deity. How do you think these rituals originated? What might be the symbolic meaning of them?
The focus of the festival for Dionysus is the theatre, because most of the great Greek plays were originally written to be performed in his wake. Anyone who took part in this ritual was seen as his sacred servant, and the festival is celebrated in the spring.


· Draw a connection between ancient Greece and the modern world. How has your deity survived to the modern day? Where do we see the remnants of this mythology? Does it appear in pop culture? Where?
It appears in the belief of life after death, because he came back to life after being dismembered by the titans. It also appears in the belief that one can feel possessed by a greater power under the influence of wine, because Dionysus was within his followers as well as with them Also, in some parts of Northern Greece today there are a handful of villages that still practice Anastenaria, or fire walking. It is disputed but is believed that this tradition came from a cult of Dionysus. Another place that Dionysus is present is in wine brands. Since one of his symbols is wine and he is the god of wine it seems fitting. He appears on bottles and even a company of wine bars is named after him. He is present in our modern culture, all we have to do is open our eyes and see that he is still watching over us.

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