Dionysus: the son of Zeus at the origin of his love for wine
Often we think of Dionysus (or Bacchus for the Romans) as a god dedicated only to drunkenness and to celebrating; in reality, he too has a much more complex history…
Dionysus is in fact the son of one of the many affairs of Zeus with a mortal, Semele, the daughter of King Cadmus of Thebes.
Juno (Era) discovered yet another betrayal for revenge took the appearance of the elderly nurse of Semele and claimed that he would never believe that Zeus was the father of the child. She forced the young woman to ask Zeus to reveal himself, so that he could believe. Semele, instilled doubt in her, demanded that Jupiter show his true face; Zeus, out of all fury for this, showed himself but his shining beauty killed the girl.
Hermes intervened to save the child still in his mother’s womb and sewed it into a thigh of Zeus where he remained until the ninth month.
Dionysus: his trips in the Minor Asia
Having thus escaped certain death, Dionysus managed to save himself and wandered around Asia Minor with a group of satyrs and maenads up to India, founding numerous cities. He then decided to return to Greece and here, on the coast of the Aegean, he rented a boat from some sailors, which turned out to be pirates.
Their purpose was to sell Dionysus as a slave but he managed to save himself, turning the ship’s master tree into a vine plant and becoming himself a lion: the pirates, terrified, fled.