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Greek Dionysus Roman Bacchus Statue
God of Wine, the Vine and the Disenfranchised
dionysus bacchus statue

dionysus bacchus statue  dionysus bacchus statue  dionysus bacchus statue

Dionysus or Bacchus Statue

Dionysus (Greek) or Bacchus (Roman) is the god of the grape harvest, winemaking and wine, of ritual madness, the disenfranchised, the unexpected and ecstasy in Greek and Roman mythology.

He was worshipped from c. 15001100 BC by Mycenean Greeks: other traces of Dionysian-type cult have been found in ancient Minoan Crete.

He is a major, popular figure of Greek mythology and religion, and is included in some lists of the twelve Olympians. His festivals were the driving force behind the development of Greek theatre.

The earliest cult images of Dionysus show a mature male, bearded and robed. He holds a fennel staff, tipped with a pine-cone and known as a thyrsus. Later images show him as a beardless, sensuous, naked or half-naked androgynous youth: the literature describes him as womanly or "man-womanish."

His procession (thiasus) is made up of wild female followers (maenads) and ithyphallic, bearded satyrs. Some are armed with the thyrsus, some dance or play music. The god himself is drawn in a chariot, usually by exotic beasts such as lions or tigers, and is sometimes attended by a bearded, drunken Silenus.

Dionysus is represented by city religions as the protector of those who do not belong to conventional society and thus symbolizes everything which is chaotic, dangerous and unexpected, everything which escapes human reason and which can only be attributed to the unforeseeable action of the gods.

His thyrsus is sometimes wound with ivy and dripping with honey. It is a beneficent wand but also a weapon, and can be used to destroy those who oppose his cult and the freedoms he represents. He is also the Liberator (Eleutherios), whose wine, music and ecstatic dance frees his followers from self-conscious fear and care, and subverts the oppressive restraints of the powerful. Those who partake of his mysteries are possessed and empowered by the god himself. His cult is also a "cult of the souls"; his maenads feed the dead through blood-offerings, and he acts as a divine communicant between the living and the dead.

In Greek mythology, he is presented as a son of Zeus and the mortal Semele, thus semi-divine or heroic: and as son of Zeus and Persephone or Demeter, thus both fully divine, part-chthonic and possibly identical with Iacchus of the Eleusinian Mysteries.
*from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


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