Chapter 10 lecture one
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Chapter 10, Lecture One. Dionysus. God of Wine The life force Male fertility Associated with nature Panthers and leopards Aristocratic Homer displeased by him Mythic biography must be pieced together from various sources – Euripides’ Bacchae. Birth and Early Youth. Birth and Early Youth.

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Chapter 10, Lecture One

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Chapter 10 lecture one

Chapter 10, Lecture One


Dionysus

Dionysus

  • God of Wine

    • The life force

  • Male fertility

  • Associated with nature

    • Panthers and leopards

  • Aristocratic Homer displeased by him

  • Mythic biography must be pieced together from various sources – Euripides’ Bacchae


Birth and early youth

Birth and Early Youth


Birth and early youth1

Birth and Early Youth

  • Zeus – Semelê (Princess of Thebes)

  • Hera: “Let this ‘Zeus’ come to you as he does to his wife Hera.”

  • Semelê (after extracting the hasty promise) is burned to ash

  • Unborn infant son, Dionysus saved and sewed into Zeus’s thigh


Birth and early youth2

Birth and Early Youth

  • Dionysus (the twice born) then given to Ino, sister of Semelê queen of Orchomenus (another city in Boeotia)

  • Dionysus disguised as a girl

  • Hera drives Ino and King Athamas insane – they kill their own children

  • Zeus changes Dionysus into a goat


Birth and early youth3

Birth and Early Youth

  • Given to the nymphs of Nysa

  • Dionysus driven mad by the his own wine and begins his wanderings

  • Egypt, Syria, and Phrygia

    • In Phyrgia, meets their Mother Earth goddess Cybelê (Greek Rhea)

    • Gets his band of followers with their tambourines and flutes and feminine dress


Birth and early youth4

Birth and Early Youth

  • Dionysus now leads his Bacchae (Bacchantes, Thyiades, or maenads)

    • Thyrsus

  • Also in his train

    • Satyrs

    • Silenus (Sileni)


Birth and early youth5

Birth and Early Youth

  • Returns west on his chariot drawn by panthers

  • Destroys all who oppose his cult

  • Come upon Midas

    • gives him the “gift” for having helped him find a drunken satyr

  • Marries Ariadnê, whom Theseus abandoned (See Myths of Athens”)-


Resistance to the god

Resistance to the God


Resistance to the god1

Resistance to the God

  • Lycurgus (Thrace)

    • Tried to run Dionysus off with a ox-goad

    • Later when blind

    • Other versions say he went mad, tried to rape his own mother – killed his own son – later sacrifice by his own people for the outrage


Resistance to the god2

Resistance to the God

  • Daughters of King Minyas (of Orchomenus) resisted

    • Punished by being driven to devour one of their own children

  • The Preotids (daughters of King Proetus of Argos)

    • Thought they were cows with other women

    • Melampus swindles the king for the cure


Dionysus and the pirates

Dionysus and the Pirates

Homeric Hymn to Dionysus


Dionysus and the pirates1

Dionysus and the Pirates

  • Tyrsenian pirates abduct Dionysus, not recognizing that he’s a god

  • Helmsmen soon realizes they have a god on board, but the captain insists they take him for ransom


Dionysus and the pirates2

Dionysus and the Pirates

  • Dionysus performs miracles on the ship

    • Wine, vines grow out of the mast . . .

    • As a lion he kills the captain

    • The rest of the men become dolphins, except the helmsman who is spared


Next time

Next Time

Dionysus in Thebes


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