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Dionysus is the god of wine and parties, and he is typically represented by a cup and grapevines or vineyards.

Dionysus was a demigod, or the son of a god and a mortal. His father was Zeus and his mother was a mortal woman named Semele. Hera discovered the affair and impending birth and tormented Semele with doubts about her unborn child’s paternity. Semele demanded that Zeus reveal his godhood to her, which no mortal could look at and survive. She died, but Zeus saved Dionysus by sewing him into the skin of his thigh until he was ready to be born a few months later.

Dionysus is perhaps most well-known for granting King Midas the power to turn everything he touched into gold. This, of course, became a curse when Midas accidentally turned his own daughter into gold. Dionysus was also incredibly handsome, and carried on a long affair with Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty. Together, they had five children, including the three Charities. Dionysus is sometimes affiliated with excess, especially in regard to drunkenness and partying because of his realm of wine and fertility.

Dionysus Quick Reference

Parents

Zeus and Semele


Power / Domain

  • Wine
  • Parties

Symbols

  • drinking cup
  • grapevines or vineyards
  • thyrsus

Notable Myths

  • Birth and rebirth
  • Madness of Inos and Athamas
  • Blinding of King Lycurgus

Be sure to look at our lesson plans on the 12 Olympian Gods!

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