Mistakes about Dionysus

One of the many misconceptions on Dionysus is that he’s a hardcore drunk.  Understandable considering he’s the god of wine.

Bacchus from Disney’s Fantasia 

As in the above depiction, he’s usually the stupid kind of drunk.  A careless idiot. all about the party. Basically a stereotypical frat boy.  He’s rarely like this however.

In the Bacchae, a play were he is featured, shows him as relatively level headed in his attempt to get his family to accept him.  It does show how savage he can though.

Dionysus is not care free, he’s not always cuddly.  In his lore there are instances of his followers ripping apart people and other animals, overtaken by madness brought on by the god.  A response to their disrespect.  This disrespect can be spying on his rituals to victimizing himself(attempting to) or his followers.

The depiction of Dionyus as a drunk, for me, is disrespectful.  This is due to what little I know about Ancient Greek drinking habits. First of all, alchohol, juice, and milk , were a matter a nessecity.  The ancients understood that they could get hydration from other sources that didn’t cause things like dysentary as water wasn’t as clean as it often is today.

The men of Greece and Rome(Convivium) partook in something called a Symposium.  A symposium was a drinking party were ideas were often exchanged, poems spoken, debate was had.  It was overseen by symposiarch who decided how strong the wine was. (they mixed wine w/water) He would also prevent parties from getting out of hand, like Dionysus is often depicted.  This was because mindless drunkenness was seen as a weakness as was disrespectful of oneself and the host..

Dionysus is the god of symposiums and I suppose he’s be the Symposiarch.  Because of what symposiums are, he, to me, is the god of social exchange and the exchange of ideas.



The Bacchea by by Euripides



Name and titles of Dionysus. A

The most common alternate name is Bacchus, his Roman title. they also called him Liber.

Other lames include Eleftaerefs “Deliverer”

Erivromos “Loud-roaring”


Ernesipeplos “Wrept is foliage”

Agnos “Holy/pure”

Agrionios “Living in the fields”

Agrios “”living in the fields, wild”

Aigovolos “Destroyer of the goats”

Aiolomorphos “Changing form”

Aiohn ”

Aisymnitis “Appointer of destiny”.”

Aithiopais”Child of the burnt land”

Akratopotis “inmoxed wine”

Alysius “cure for madness”

Amphietes “celepreated yearly”

Amphithales “flourishing on all sides”

Amvrotos ”

Anax “Lord”

Antavyis “sparkling one”

Anthefs “blooming/crowned with flowers”

Aonius Deus “Theban god”

Areios “warlike”

Arritos “mind that can’t be understood”

Axites “worthy, giver of increase”

4x5 original
4×5 original


Deities associated with Dionysus

Osiris/Wesir. The Egyptian god Osiris is associated with Dionysus to the point that they were merged after the Macedonians took Egypt.  He’s The husband.brother of Isis, brother of Nephthys,  and Set. In some cases He’s brother of Horus the elder. Their parents are Geb and Nut. The reasons for the associations between the two gods stems from Osiris’ connection with agriculture and his rebirth, twice.  Osiris is also the judge who dictated the fates of the dead.


Sabazios.  The Thracian god Sabios is usually depicted as a hand covered with religious symbols.

Priapos.  He began as a Mysian god who became Greek and then was adopted as an aspect of Dionysus.  He’s easily recognized by his giant penis and small stature.  He presided over the fertility of crops.


Tammuz.  Tammuz is a Semetic god best known for dying and being reborn.  He;s also an agriculture and vegetation god.  He goes to the underworld as a replacement for Inanna.

Orotalt. A pre Islamic Arabian god.

Dionysian symbols

Sacred Animals of Dionysus.

On a cheetah or panther


One of my favorite images if Dionysus is one of him riding a panther.  According to medieval lore the panther was a big cat who gorged itself every three days then slept ot off.  I can kind of see why it’s associated with Dionysus.  Now it’s the name given to Puma, black leopards and Black jaguar.


The leopard is a member of Genus Panthera who are Listed as Vulnerable due to habitat loss and conflict with humans, who they have been known to prey on in bad times.  It is an adaptable animal who lives from Deserts, jungles to inner city parks. There are up to 9 subspecies and some hybids with Puma(Pumapard), Lions(Leopon or maybe the cryptid Marozi) have been created.


Tigers are another member of the Panthera and an apex predator and endangered, 93% of their habitat is lost. There are 11 subspecies, two died off in prehistory(Trinil and Japanese) three were killed off in modern times(Javanese, Caspian, and Balinese). There are also hybrids like the liger and Tigons.  Tigers come in a variety of colors The popular  white, is a variant of the Bengal, it’s a recessive gene which means inbreeding is rampant, resulting in the death of most cubs as well as painful birth-defects. there are also stripe-less white and Golden tabby. Golden Tabbies are all descended from a single male. “Black”tigers are partly melenistic which cause stripes to blend together leaving varying degrees of orange.  Maltese tiger is an unconfirmed variant of blue-gray tiger color.


The idea of the elephant being sacred to Dionysus was inspired by a book on ancient mystery cults.   There are three species of elephant, African forest and bush, and Asian. Humans used elephants in war and still use them as beasts of burden, transportation, entertainment, and they are often killed, en masse, for their tusks which has contributed to their endangered status. Once a year male elephants go through Musth, which turns them ultra aggressive.







Sacred plants.  Fruiting vines, especially grapes. Apples, Figs, Pine trees, Ivy, bindweed, cinnamon.

Sacred Birds. For me the crow, Raven, Parrots.

Regalia: Staff., crown of ivy or grapes. Chariot pulled by leopards.





Day 4 Family Tree


Dionysus’ family tree his huge thanks to Zeus.  Because of this I’ll start with his human mother.

Semele was the daughter of, Cadmus, founder of Thebes.  Her mother  was Harmonia, goddess of Harmony. To the Estuscian , Semia.  To the Romans she is  Stimula.

Cadmus, Semele’s father was Boeotian, a city-state in Central Greece. He was considered the greatest monster slayer.  His sister was Europa.  Agenor and Telapassa Are the parents of Cadmus. They are descended from Poseidon and Libya, princess of Egypt.  Libya was the daughter of Pharaoh Epaphus or Apis and queen Memphis. Epaphus was son of Io and Zeus.  Memphis was the daughter of Nilus, who was the personification of the Nile and makes her a river nymph.  Talapassa  may have also been a daughter of the Nile and a cloud nymph, Nephele. Nephele was created by Zeus.

Harmonia is the daughter of Ares and Aphrodite.  Ares is the son of Hera and Zeus, making him Dionysus half brother.  Zeus and Hera are the children of Chronos and Rhea who descend from Gaia and Uranus.  Dionysus has countless siblings.