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He will recognize the son of Zeus, [860] Dionysus, who is in fact a god, the most terrible ( deinos ) and yet most gentle to men.

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He will recognize the son of Zeus, [860] Dionysus, who is in fact a god, the most terrible (deinos) and yet most gentle to men.

HH 1 For some say, at Dracanum; and some, on windy Icarus; and some, in Naxos, O Heaven-born, Insewn (Eiraphiotes); and others by the deep-eddying river Alpheus that pregnant Semele bore you to Zeus the thunder-lover. [5] And others yet, lord, say you were born in Thebes; but all these lie. The Father of men and gods gave you birth remote from men and secretly from white-armed Hera. There is a certain Nysa, . .See Bac. 286 enerraphe

11 As he cut you into three pieces, so also in biennial festivals will men sacrifice complete hecatombs to you.

Dithyramb -os Bac. 526

Bac. Whom once, in the compulsion of birth pains, [90] the thunder of Zeus flying upon her, his mother cast from her womb, leaving life by the stroke of a thunderbolt. Immediately Zeus, Kronos' son, [95] received him in a chamber fit for birth, and having covered him in his thigh shut him up with golden clasps, hidden from Hera..


That one claims that Dionysus is a god, claims that he was once stitched into the thigh of Zeus — Dionysus, who was burnt up with his mother by the flame of lightning, [245] because she had falsely claimed a marriage with Zeus.He who came afterwards, the offspring of Semele, discovered a match to (grain), the liquid drink of the grape, and introduced it [280] to mortals. It releases wretched mortals from grief, whenever they are filled with the stream of the vine, and gives them sleep, a means of forgetting their daily troubles, nor is there another cure for hardships. He who is a god is poured out in offerings to the gods, [285] so that by his means men may have good things.When Zeus snatched him out of the lighting-flame, and led the child as a god to Olympus, [290] Hera wished to banish him from the sky, but Zeus, as a god, had a counter-contrivance. Having broken a part of the air which surrounds the earth, he gave this to Hera as a pledge, protecting the real Dionysus from her hostility. But in time, [295] mortals say that he was nourished in the thigh of Zeus, changing the word, because a god he had served as a hostage for the goddess Hera.

satyr thyrsos 80
satyr, thyrsos (80)

[130] nearby, raving Satyrs were fulfilling the rites of the mother goddess, and they joined it to the dances of the biennial festivals, in which Dionysus rejoices.

Blessed is he who, being fortunate and knowing the rites of the gods, keeps his life pure and [75] has his soul initiated into the Bacchic revels, dancing in inspired frenzy over the mountains with holy purifications (katharmoi), and who, revering the mysteries of great mother Kybele, [80] brandishing the thyrsos, garlanded with ivy, serves Dionysus.


thiasos maenads bacchae 50
thiasos, maenads = bacchae (50)

At once all the earth will dance — [115] whoever leads the sacred band is Bromius — to the mountain, to the mountain, where the crowd of women waits, goaded away from their weaving by Dionysus.

[55] But, you women who have left Tmolus, the bulwark of Lydia, my sacred band (thiasos), whom I have brought from among the barbarians as assistants and companions to me, take your drums, native instruments of the city of the Phrygians, the invention of mother Rhea and myself, [60] and going about this palace of Pentheus beat them, so that Kadmos' city may see.


[135] He is sweet in the mountains, whenever after the running dance he falls on the ground, wearing the sacred garment of fawn skin, hunting the blood of the slain goat, a raw-eaten delight, rushing to the [140] Phrygian, the Lydian mountains.omophagia


HH 7 I will tell of Dionysus, the son of glorious Semele, how he appeared on a jutting headland by the shore of the fruitless sea, seeming like a young man in the first flush of manhood: his rich, dark hair was waving about him, [5] and on his strong shoulders he wore a purple robe.


Presently there came swiftly over the sparkling sea Tyrsenian pirates on a well-decked ship — a miserable doom led them on. When they saw him they made signs to one another and sprang out quickly, and seizing him straightway [10] put him on board their ship exultingly; for they thought him the son of heaven-nurtured kings. They sought to bind him with rude bonds, but the bonds would not hold him. “Possessed men! what god is this whom you have taken and bind, strong that he is? Not even the well-built ship can carry him. Surely this is either Zeus or Apollo who has the silver bow, [20] or Poseidon, for he looks not like mortal men but like the gods who dwell on Olympus. Come, then, let’s set him free on the dark shore at once: do not lay hands on him, lest he grow angry and stir up dangerous winds and heavy squalls.” [35] First of all sweet, fragrant wine ran streaming throughout all the black ship and a heavenly smell arose, so that all the seamen were seized with amazement when they saw it. And all at once a vine spread out both ways along the top of the sail with many clusters hanging down from it.


The god changed into a dreadful lion there on the ship, [45] in the bows, and roared loudly: amidships also he showed his wonders and created a shaggy bear which stood up ravening, while on the bow was the lion glaring fiercely with scowling brows. And so the sailors fled into the stern and crowded bemused about the right-minded helmsman, until suddenly the lion sprang upon the master [50] and seized him; and when the sailors saw it they leapt overboard one and all into the bright sea, escaping a miserable fate, and were changed into dolphins.

Bac. 1118-19 Appear as a bull or many-headed serpent or raging lion to see!