Dionysus (the Roman Bacchus)
God of wine, nature god, born from Zeus' thigh after the untimely death of his mother before his birth, spends his life carrying the secrets of wine production. He is accompanied
by satyrs, centaurs and wildly dancing
young women. As the god of agriculture and
fertility, he is reborn each year, associated with rites designed
to promote fertility and with mystery religions which based their teachings
on the problems of death, purgation,
The 5th century
Athenian values were balance, wisdom, justice, even‑mindedness; these values
in literature. Athenian praises the golden mean‑- moderation in all things.
However, Dionysus represents
a different spirit, one of ecstasy, of abandonment to emotion. In myth and literature, Dionysus is represented as an outsider, not a traditional Athenian/Greek
god of the original pantheon, but as an interloper, a new god demanding new fealty.
anthropologists agree that Dionysus had to be a stranger /outsider because the ecstatic irresponsibility and release
that he offered to women was unique in Greek religion.