What Are Some Interesting Facts About Dionysus?

In Ancient Greek mythology, Dionysus wasn't just the god of wine, he was the embodiment of wine. He was born three times. Dionysus is the only man with a mortal mother to become a god in the Olympian Pantheon. His maenads danced and killed in the wilderness and cities.

Dionysus, also called Bacchus, is associated with death and rebirth, particularly of grapes. He has a double nature. He brings release and joy or insanity and rage as he wishes. His mortal mother, Semele, was impregnated by Zeus and tricked by Hera before she died. Zeus pitied the baby, hiding Dionysus in his thigh. After his birth, Hera ordered titans to hunt down Dionysus, who ripped him to shreds. Rhea, Zeus' mother, brought Dionysus back. Then, he wandered, gaining a following of satyrs, wood nymphs and maenads. His many rebirths led Greeks to associate him with life after death. Dionysus and his maenads swept though Thebes, demanding a festival. When Pentheus, the king, repeatedly declined, the Bacchanal incited madness in Thebes' citizens, who tore the king to pieces and ate him.