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Dionysus or Dionysos (Greek: Δῐόνῡσος Diónūsos[1]) is the god of the wine, grape harvest, winemaking, wine and ritual madness, religious ecstasy, theaters and fertility. He is known as the patron of arts and is the son of Zeus and Semele, although in some versions he is son of Hades (or Zeus) and Persephone, who also in some versions is his sister. He is also known as Bacchus (Greek: Βάκχος, Bákkhos), the name adopted by the Romans.


Dionysus had an unusual birth that evokes the difficulty in fitting him into the Olympian pantheon, as his mother was Semele (Daughter of Cadmus), a mortal woman, and his father Zeus, the king of the gods. Zeus's wife Hera, a jealous and vain goddess, discovered the affair while Semele was pregnant, appearing as an old crone (in other stories a nurse). Hera befriended Semele, who confided in her that her husband was actually Zeus. Hera pretended not to believe her and planted seeds of doubt in Semele's mind. Curious, Semele demanded of Zeus that he reveal himself in all his glory as proof of his godhood. Although Zeus begged her not to ask this, she persisted and he eventually agreed. Mortals however cannot look upon a god without dying and she perished. Zeus found an unborn Dionysus, and decided to sew him in his thigh. A few months later Dionysus was born.

As Orphic-Dionysus/Zagreus[]

In another version of the same story Dionysus was a son of Zeus and Persephone the king of the olympians and queen of the underworld, zeus disguised himself as a serpent and raped persephone which led her being pregnant with orphic-dionysus, then dionysus was taken in to mount ida to be raised by the dancing curetes. Zeus was planning on making orphic-dionysus in becoming king of olympus, but hera heard about this and as livid as she is sent the titans to kill (Dismember) orphic-dionysus, while orphic-dionysus was distracted with toys (and a mirror) the titans dismembered him, meanwhile in the process the titans roasted, boiled and ate him raw of every body part of baby orphic-dionysus, however athena managed to save the heart of orphic-dionysus then zeus gave the heart to semele so she can consume it and give birth again to orphic-dionysus (He is seen sporting horns).

As Zagreus[]

In another version of the same story Dionysus was the son of Hades and persephone, there was not much of zagreus' birth but it was stated that he had some relations to gaia (Possibly romantic/sexual) and being the god of all gods (ONCE, possibly)

As Mycenaean Dionysus[]

Mycenaean Dionysus was the son of zeus and another woman (Not persephone or semele), MYC-Dionysus was born but he was abandoned by civilization then raised by nature (which explains his wine relations), in portrayal he is seen being much older and sporting a beard (Possibly horns).

Ariadne and Dionysus[]

In Minos and Theseus[]

Minos attacked athens because of the death of his son, the athenians decided to ask if they could sacrifice seven young men and women to the minotaur (Ariadne's half-sibling) every seven (or nine) years. One year when the sacrifice happened theseus decided and planned to kill the minotaur which made ariadne fall head over heals for theseus, so ariadne decided to give theseus a sword and a ball of thread (ariadne's thread) so he can find his way out of the minotaur's labyrinth, so in the meanwhile she joined theseus on his journey but (in homer's) "theseus had no affection for her" Artemis hurt her in seagirt Dia because she saw dionysus. (In odyssey) But other accounts stated that she was left behind in an island by theseus or she was wounded by perseus but OCD (oxford classical dictionary) thought that she was already married to dionysus while running away with theseus.


Theseus abandoned Ariadne in naxos while she was asleep that was when dionysus found her and married her (possibly because of her beauty) or Dionysus told theseus while they were sailing to crete to abandon ariadne and marry her to himself which was possibly a common theme in Athenian culture (or was a trope), to abandon ariadne while she's asleep, or theseus getting led by Athena to find the sleeping ariadne.


Depending on what version you chose of the story, dionysus married ariadne in constellation called corona borealis. But then she bore their famous children, Oenopion, Staphylus and Thoas.


Ariadne remained faithful to dionysus until she was killed by perseus in the argos (Or hanged herself in other myths) but dionysus was determined to bring back his wife from the underworld, dionysus descended to the underworld to find his wife but in the process saw his mother, (with the permission of hades of course) he decided to take both his mother semele and wife to olympus and become goddesses with him.

Depiction & Personality[]

Dionysus in early art he was depicted as an elderly man with a long beard. However, he mostly depicted as a beautiful youth with an andrygenous appearance with long curly hair wearing an ivy wreath seated upon his head, he is either seen holding a kantharos (i.e. a drinking cup) or thyrsos a fennel staff entwined in ivy with a pinecone at the tip.


Zeus and Semele

Hades and Persephone (Possibly Zagreus)

Zeus and Persephone (In the Orphism)

Spouse and Lovers[]

Ariadne (Wife)

Aphrodite (Former lover)

Alexirrhoe (Former lover)

Alphesiboea (Former lover)

Althaea (Former lover)

Araethyrea (Former lover)

Chthonophyle (Former lover)

Carya (Former lover)

Chione (Former lover)

Circe (Former lover)

Cronois (Former lover)

Nicaea (Former lover)

Pallene (Former lover)

Percote (Former lover)

Physcoa (Former lover)

Unnamed woman #1 (Former lover?)

Unnamed woman #2 (Former lover?)

Unnamed woman #3 (Former lover?)

Unnamed woman #4 (Former lover?)

Aura (Former lover)


Consort Offspring Consort Offspring
Aphrodite • Hymenaios Alexirrhoe • Carmanor
• Iacchus Alphesiboea • Medus
• Priapus • Phthonus
• Charites (Graces) Althaea • Deianira
1. Euphrosyne Araethyrea • Phlias
2. Pasithea Chthonophyle
3. Thalia Carya no known offspring
Ariadne • Ceramus Chione • Priapus (possibly)[167]
• Enyeus Circe • Comus
• Euanthes Cronois • Charites (Graces)
• Eurymedon 1. Euphrosyne
• Latramys 2. Pasithea
• Maron 3. Thalia
• Oenopion Nicaea • Telete
• Phanus Pallene no known offspring
• Peparethus Percote • Priapus (possibly)[168]
• Phlias Physcoa • Narcaeus
• Staphylus Unnamed woman • Methe
• Tauropolis Unnamed woman • Sabazios
• Thoas Unnamed woman • Thysa[169]
Aura • Iacchus
twin of Iacchus[170]

Powers and Abilities[]

Like All the Twelve Olympians, dionysus was a immortal and powerful God. Special powers of making wine, making wishes come true and causing vines to grow he could also transform himself into animals such as a bull or a lion one of his special powers was the ability to drive mortals insane (Look up Pentheus).

  • Nature Manipulation
  • Alcohol Manipulation
  • Chaos Manipulation
  • Madness Inducement
  • Illusion Casting
  • Reincarnation/Resurrection (based on the Zagreus myth)
  • Shapeshifting
  • Possession


  • The Dionysus we know was raised by Silenus, which was mentioned in Midas' golden touch.
  • Other sources mention that either Zeus or Hades was the father of Zagreus (Orphic Dionysus was the son of Zeus and Persephone, it is unknown if Zagreus was the son of Hades).
  • Dionysus is one of the only Greek gods to go through massive changes, this includes his appearance, his association with the underworld (including Persephone and Hades) but the only thing that did not change was his association with wine and rebirth.
  • The only woman Dionysus ever married was Ariadne.

Gallery of Dionysus[]