chapter
Dionysus
Pages 5

Dionysus, also known as Bacchus, son of Zeus and Semele, daughter of Kadmos, king of Thebes, was the Greek god of wine, emotional and sexual ecstasy, the theater, and, eventually, the afterlife. Rescued from the womb of his mother as she was being destroyed by one of Zeus’s thunderbolts, Dionysus was sewn into his father’s thigh from where he was born again. The decipherment of the Linear B tablets (the earlier form of Greek, inscribed on clay tablets) confirms that Dionysus was known in MinoanMycenaean civilization and thus belongs to the formative years of Greek religion, although he was traditionally regarded as a late Thracian or Phrygian import.