Dionysus

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Ancient Greek Gods and Goddesses for Kids - Dionysus
The myths and legends surrounding Dionysus, the Greek god of wine

Dionysus for kids
Dionysus was the Greek god of wine, parties, festivals, celebrations, madness, chaos, drunkenness and ecstasy. He therefore represents not only the intoxicating power of wine, but also its social and beneficent influences which led him to be viewed as the promoter of civilization and lover of peace.

He is often represented as the protector of those who do not belong to conventional society and therefore symbolizes everything which is chaotic, dangerous and unexpected which can only be attributed to the unforeseeable action of the gods. Dionysus was not only the god of wine, but also of the theater. Additional intriguing facts and information about the mythology and legends of individual gods and goddesses of these ancient civilizations can be accessed via the following links:

Gods and Deities

Greek Gods and Goddesses

Picture of Dionysus

 

 

Dionysus (Roman Counterpart was Bacchus)
When the Roman Empire conquered the Greeks in 146BC, the Romans assimilated various elements from other cultures and civilisations, including the gods and goddesses that were worshipped by the Ancient Greeks. Many of the Greek gods and goddesses, such as Dionysus, were therefore adopted by the Romans but were given Latin names. The Roman counterpart of Dionysus was Bacchus.

Dionysus

Facts about Dionysus
The following facts and profile provides a fast overview of Dionysus:

Dionysus Profile & Fact File
Personality: Helpful, generous, light-hearted, popular

Appearance: Powerful, imposing with a full head of dark hair and wearing a beard alternatively depicted as a clean shaven pretty youth

Role & Function: The function of Dionysus is described as being the god of wine, celebrations, fertility and merry-making. The spirit of ecstasy and disorder

Status: Major God and one of the Twelve Olympians

Symbols: Thyrsos staff, leopard, panther, tiger, goat, grapes, ivy and goblets

Gender: Male

Roman Counterpart: The Roman name for this god was Bacchus

Name of Wife: Ariadne

Name of Father: Zeus

Name of Mother: Semele

The Family of Dionysus
According to Greek legends and myths the family of Dionysus were as follows:

  • Father: Zeus
  • Mother: Semele, a princess of Thebes. He was the only god to have a mother who was a mortal
  • Wife: Ariadne
  • Names of Children with Ariadne: Oenopion, Thoas, Staphylos and Peparethus
  • Names of Children with Aphrodite - Charites, Hymenaios and Priapus

Dionysus and Mount Olympus
In Greek Mythology the principle Greek gods were referred to as the Twelve Olympians and lived on the summit of Mount Olympus which was protected by a special layer of clouds. The gods and goddesses who lived on Mount Olympus attended sumptuous banquets in the council-chamber of the gods and feasted on ambrosia (the food of the gods) and nectar (the drink of the gods). The names of the other Olympian gods were Zeus, Hera, Athena, Apollo, Ares, Aphrodite, Poseidon, Demeter, Artemis, Hephaestus and Hermes.

The Greek Gods Family Tree and Genealogy
The genealogy of these ancient deities can be established via the Greek gods family tree which also provides an overview of the relationship of Dionysus to the other Greek gods and deities. The Greek gods family tree and genealogy provides an overview of his relationship to the other Greek gods and deities.

The Greek Gods Family Tree - Hestia or Dionysus?
Greek historians agreed that there were 12 Olympians but disagreed as to whether Hestia or Dionysus was one of the principle gods. We have included Hestia in the family tree as she was a direct descendent of Cronus and Rhea whereas Dionysus was the only god to have a mother who was a mortal.

Greek Gods Family Tree & Genealogy

The Symbols of Dionysus
In the sculptures, vases, mosaics and paintings of Greek Art the god Dionysus was often illustrated with images representing his symbols - the thyrsos (a pine-cone tipped staff), leopard, panther, tiger, goat, grapes, ivy and goblets.

The symbols of Dionysus were:

  • The Grapes and Goblet

    • The symbol of the Grapes and Goblet relate to his role as the god of wine. He taught mortals how to plant and tend the grapevine, press the juice and make it into wine.

  • The Leopard, panther, tiger

    • The symbols of the leopard, panther, tiger all refer to his chariot which was drawn by exotic beasts such as lions and tigers

  • Ivy

    • Ivy or holly vines were a symbol of immortality and decadent indulgence, Dionysus was often depicted wearing this type of wreath which was associated with merry making and celebrations

  • The Thyros

    • The thyrsos was a magic staff entwined with vine leaves with a pinecone on the top. The magical staff, or wand, could turn a rock into water and the water into wine

A Drunken Dionysus

A Drunken Dionysus

Dionysus in Greek Mythology - The Midas Touch
Dionysus, the Greek god of wine, featured in the stories, myths and legends in Greek Mythology. The famous story of the man with the Midas touch is associated with Dionysus. He rewarded King Midas with what seemed to be a wonderful gift - whatever the king touched would turn into gold. But this included the food he tried to eat and King Midas became weary of his gift, and asked Dionysus to revert it refer to the Midas Touch.

Myths and Legends about Dionysus in Greek Mythology
He presided over commerce, wrestling and other gymnastic exercises. He also presided over thieves and everythingthat required skill, cunning and dexterity. The most famous myths and legends relating to Dionysus are:

  • Silenus, a satyr
  • The story of King Midas
  • The transformation of pirates into dolphins
  • The return of Hephaestus to Mount Olympus

Worshipping the gods

Worshipping the gods

Dionysus - Greek Gods & Greek Mythology for Kids
Dionysus, the Greek god of wine, was one of the extraordinary number of gods and goddesses worshipped by the Ancient Greeks. The legend and myth about Dionysus has been passed down through the ages and plays an important role the history of the Ancient World and the study of the Greek classics. Dionysus features in the religious beliefs of the ancient Greeks which are based on the idea that these supernatural beings resembled mortals but possessed great magical and mystic powers.

  • The Greek gods and goddesses were immortal but not invulnerable.
  • The Greek Gods including Dionysus lived on the summit of the mythical Mount Olympus
  • Dionysus looked and dressed like a mortal, ate and slept and was able to marry and have children
  • The Greek gods and goddesses were more beautiful, taller and stronger than mere mortals

Greek gods and goddesses, such as Dionysus, possessed supernatural powers and presided over specific dominions and were strongly associated with areas of power. Dionysus is known as the Greek god of wine.

Dionysus

  • Interesting information and Facts about the Greek god Dionysus
  • Dionysus, the Greek god of wine
  • Stories and Legends in Greek Mythology associated with Dionysus
  • Facts and information about the Gods and Deities of the Ancient World for schools and kids
  • Greek god of wine
 

 
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