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Silver Wind
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PostSubject: Dionysus   Thu Jul 26, 2007 10:47 am

Dionysus known as Bacchus by the Romans, ranks among my farvorite Gods, and he is most certaintly one of the funiest and light hearted of the Gods, and I have always held a certain foundness for him.

Dionysus, is perhaps most well known as being the god of wine, agriculture, and fertility of nature, who is also the patron god of the Greek stage, but he serves another funtion as well, he represents the outstanding features of mystery religions, such as those practiced at Eleusis: ecstasy, personal delivery from the daily world through physical or spiritual intoxication, and initiation into secret rites. Scholars have long suspected that the god known as Dionysus is in fact a fusion of a local Greek nature god, and another more potent god imported rather late in Greek pre-history from Phrygia (the central area of modern day Turkey) or Thrace.

According to one myth, Dionysus is the son of the god Zeus and the mortal woman, Semele (daughter of Cadmus of Thebes). Semele is killed by Zeus' lightning bolts while Dionysus is still in her womb. Dionysus is rescued and undergoes a second birth from Zeus after developing in his thigh. Zeus then gives the infant to some nymphs to be raised. In another version, one with more explicit religious overtones, Dionysus, also referred to as Zagreus in this account, is the son of Zeus and Persephone, Queen of the Underworld. Hera gets the Titans to lure the infant with toys, and then they rip him to shreds eating everything but Zagreus' heart, which is saved by either Athena, Rhea, or Demeter. Zeus remakes his son from the heart and implants him in Semele who bears a new Dionysus Zagreus. Hence, as in the earlier account, Dionysus is called "twice born." The latter account formed a part of the Orphic religion's religious mythology.

Dionysus also represents a dual nature, for as the god of wine he can bring both good cheer, joy, pleasure, and ectasy, but on the other hand we could bring brutality, thoughtlessness and rage, as this reperestns the two asepcts of wine, it could be a good thing when taken in moderation, but in the excessive it can drive man mad.

Traditonally there were great orgies which were held in celebration and honor of Dionysus, it is said that is how he came to be known as Bacchus, for the name refered to the great cries which he was worshiped during

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