Classical Greek Mythology

The Greek Pantheon and the Olympians

Who was Dionysos?

The latest member of the Olympian hierarch was Dionysos (Dionysus), an ancient god known to the Minoans and Mycenaeans, but unlike all the others. His mother, Semele, was said by most writers to have been a human, which is perhaps why Dionysos was the only one of the gods to die. According to one story, he was cooked and eaten by the Titans. As did other dying gods he returned to life, however, and became the center of an earth-based rather than Olympus-based cult associated with wine, sexuality, and ecstasy. It was said that Zeus had recovered the unborn Dionysos from the dead Semele and sewed him into his thigh, from which he was born again.


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