Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Free Essays on Dionysus

Zeus’ divine child relishes the happy life He loves peace who sheds happiness Peace who nurses admirable youths And gave of the rich and poor He hates those who do not do their best day and wondrous night to live happily. (Euripides, Bacchai 416-426) Dionysus has been called the Father of Wine, the Bringer of Virility, and the Patron of the Theatrical Arts, of which he is most well known for. Dionysus, also known as Bacchus, Iacchus, Bassareus, Trietenicus, and Liber, is credited for the creation of wine and theatre, yet his origins and earthly powers are vague and convoluted (Apiryon, 1). His origin has long been suspected to be in a fusion of a rural, local Greek nature god and another more potent god imported from Phrygia (central Turkey) or Thrace later in Greek prehistory (Gross, 1). Contradictory, Dionysus was one of the most important deities to the Greeks, yet historically he was rarely mentioned in writing. He was the Thracian, and eventually Greek, god of ecstasy, terror, guilt and atonement, death and resurrection, vegetation, trees, wine, madness, and drama. He also represented Eleusis: ecstasy, personal delivery from the world through physical or spiritual intoxication, and initiation into secret rites (1).To compreh end the complicated worship of this (once)nature deity, one must understand his origins, his followers, his holidays, and the evolution of the entire religion into the current form of theatre today. There are countless versions to the origins of Dionysus, and most continue in a common thread while contradicting each other. In the most profuse and popular tale, Dionysus was born of Zeus and Semele, a mortal woman whom Zeus had fallen in love with and the romance continued for many years. To no ones surprise, Semele became pregnant and rumors flew around Mt. Olympus. Eventually Hera, Queen of the gods and Zeus’ wife, discovered her husband’s secret affair with this human woman and became gree... Free Essays on Dionysus Free Essays on Dionysus DIONYSUS Dionysus, also known as Bacchus, is the son of the god Zeus and Semele. He is known as the twice-born god because Zeus unintentionally burned Semele on the account of Hera’s trickery and Dionysus died inside Semele. There are a few stories that come to his rebirth but the one that is most remembered in mythology is that Hermes took the heart of Dionysus and sew it into Zeus’s leg. After much persecution by Hera, Zeus finally became fed up with it and turned Dionysus into a god. Dionysus was the god of many things and some think that he is the most important god out of all of them which I for one agree with. To start he was the first god of fertility associated with plants and animals. For this he was known as â€Å"he of the trees†. He is also the god of wine, he had discovered this when he was in Nysa, also known as god of blossoms. This is where things get confusing. Dionysus is associated with both the life force and with death. He brings death, madness, and destruction to every where he goes and everyone that follows. However, paradoxically resurrection and life as well. For example; Dionysus drove Ino, his nurse, insane and she boiled her child alive, however she jumped into the sea and became a sea goddess. His mother, Semele, was burned alive but she joins Dionysus and other gods at Mount Olympus. By creating destruction in a way he is also creating life. Dionysus played an important role in helping life go on. He is the god of wine which in those days was a major thing to the Greeks and stimulated not only self worth and peoples lives but also stimulated procreation. The people that followed him would go mad, they would have parties and drink and let themselves go free without the common day worries and let life live. He is a god of the people. He understands them and the people that were his followers had a piece of him inside of them. He understood death like no other god could because he is the only ... Free Essays on Dionysus Zeus’ divine child relishes the happy life He loves peace who sheds happiness Peace who nurses admirable youths And gave of the rich and poor He hates those who do not do their best day and wondrous night to live happily. (Euripides, Bacchai 416-426) Dionysus has been called the Father of Wine, the Bringer of Virility, and the Patron of the Theatrical Arts, of which he is most well known for. Dionysus, also known as Bacchus, Iacchus, Bassareus, Trietenicus, and Liber, is credited for the creation of wine and theatre, yet his origins and earthly powers are vague and convoluted (Apiryon, 1). His origin has long been suspected to be in a fusion of a rural, local Greek nature god and another more potent god imported from Phrygia (central Turkey) or Thrace later in Greek prehistory (Gross, 1). Contradictory, Dionysus was one of the most important deities to the Greeks, yet historically he was rarely mentioned in writing. He was the Thracian, and eventually Greek, god of ecstasy, terror, guilt and atonement, death and resurrection, vegetation, trees, wine, madness, and drama. He also represented Eleusis: ecstasy, personal delivery from the world through physical or spiritual intoxication, and initiation into secret rites (1).To compreh end the complicated worship of this (once)nature deity, one must understand his origins, his followers, his holidays, and the evolution of the entire religion into the current form of theatre today. There are countless versions to the origins of Dionysus, and most continue in a common thread while contradicting each other. In the most profuse and popular tale, Dionysus was born of Zeus and Semele, a mortal woman whom Zeus had fallen in love with and the romance continued for many years. To no ones surprise, Semele became pregnant and rumors flew around Mt. Olympus. Eventually Hera, Queen of the gods and Zeus’ wife, discovered her husband’s secret affair with this human woman and became gree... Free Essays on Dionysus Son of Zeus and Semele, also known in both Greek and Latin as Bacchus. According to Ovid, when his mother was killed Zeus snatched her unborn child and sewed him into his own thigh. The Homeric Hymn to Dionysos (1) gives variant versions of his birth. He is unusual in that he has a mortal mother, the story of Semele places his birth much later than those of the other gods. Several stories tell of the fate of mortals who refused to recognised or accept Dionysos, as in Euripides' Bacchae. Apollodorus, Bibliotheca, 3.5 and Homer, Iliad, 6 tell the story of Lykourgos, a Thracian king who tried to expel Dionysos and was driven mad. Homeric Hymn to Dionysos, 7 tells of the fate of mortals who failed to recognise him. He was captured by pirates but made a vine grow on the ship and transformed himself into a lion. The pirates ended up as dolphins. As these stories suggest, Dionysos is often depicted as travelling throughout Greece, often arriving from the east. As knowledge of the world to the east expanded with Alexander's campaigns as far as India, so did the regions from which Dionysos was thought to arrive in Greece. In the Hellenistic and Roman periods he was depicted as arriving in triumph from India, accompanied by exotic animals. Dionysos is the god of wine and song and is usually depicted in art and literature accompanied by maenads, satyrs and silens. The maenads often carry parts of animals they have torn apart in their frenzy. This is how he is described by Catullus and Ovid when he arrives on the island of Naxos to rescue Ariadne. At Athens tragedy was performed at the festival of Dionysos (Dionysia). The Anthesteria was a festival which commemorated the death of Ikarios the first man to introduce wine to Attica. His countrymen killed him when they felt the effects of the drink and thought he had poisoned them. Ikarios' daughter, Erigone, hanged herself (Apollodoros, 3.14.7). Dionysos was also associated wit...

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