29 Facts About Bacchus


Bacchus's origins are uncertain, and his cults took many forms; some are described by ancient sources as Thracian, others as Greek.

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Bacchus described the Athenian celebrations given to the first Dionysus Zagreus, son of Persephone, the second Dionysus Bromios, son of Semele, and the third Dionysus Iacchus:.

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Mystery cult of Bacchus was brought to Rome from the Greek culture of southern Italy or by way of Greek-influenced Etruria.

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In Rome, the most well-known festivals of Bacchus were the Bacchanalia, based on the earlier Greek Dionysia festivals.

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Bacchus was conscripted into the official Roman pantheon as an aspect of Liber, and his festival was inserted into the Liberalia.

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Thanks to his mythology involving travels and struggles on earth, Bacchus became euhemerised as a historical hero, conqueror, and founder of cities.

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Bacchus was a patron deity and founding hero at Leptis Magna, birthplace of the emperor Septimius Severus, who promoted his cult.

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Bacchus declared himself High Priest, and added local drunks to the list of membership.

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Bacchus maintained that those who died as members would go to a Bacchanalia for their afterlife.

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Bacchus acquired this form of address from the rite pertaining to him; for the barbarians call the bacchic cry "sabazein".

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Bacchus's worshipers were said to have honored him for this by depicting him with horns.

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Bacchus was torn apart and boiled by the sons of Gaia, or "earth born", symbolizing the harvesting and wine-making process.

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Bacchus sent a bird to bring him one of the fruits, and sewed it into his thigh, so that he would be both mother and father to the new Dionysus.

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Bacchus's saw the bull-shaped figure of a man emerge from his thigh, and then came to the realization that she herself had been the tree.

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Bacchus's dressed herself in garlands of flowers and wreathes of ivy, and would run barefoot to the meadows and forests to frolic whenever she heard music.

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Bacchus's went to Semele in the guise of an old woman who had been Cadmus' wet nurse.

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Bacchus's made Semele jealous of the attention Zeus gave to Hera, compared with their own brief liaison, and provoked her to request Zeus to appear before her in his full godhood.

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Bacchus's fame brought him to the attention of Rhea, who was furious with Ammon for his deception.

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Bacchus's attempted to bring Dionysus under her own power but, unable to do so, she left Ammon and married Cronus.

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Bacchus undertook efforts to introduce his religion into Greece, but was opposed by rulers who feared it, on account of the disorders and madness it brought with it.

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In Ovid's Metamorphoses, Bacchus begins this story as a young child found by the pirates, but transforms to a divine adult when on board.

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Bacchus renamed his mother Thyone, and ascended with her to heaven, where she became a goddess.

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Bacchus touched and turned to gold an oak twig and a stone, but his joy vanished when he found that his bread, meat, and wine turned to gold.

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Bacchus's bore him a son named Oenopion, but he committed suicide or was killed by Perseus.

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Bacchus holds a fennel staff, tipped with a pine-cone and known as a thyrsus.

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Bacchus's procession is made up of wild female followers and bearded satyrs with erect penises; some are armed with the thyrsus, some dance or play music.

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Bacchus typically wears a panther or leopard skin and carries a thyrsus.

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Bacchus continued to appeal to the rich of Imperial Rome, who populated their gardens with Dionysian sculpture, and by the second century AD were often buried in sarcophagi carved with crowded scenes of Bacchus and his entourage.

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The statue aspires to suggest both drunken incapacity and an elevated consciousness, but this was perhaps lost on later viewers, and typically the two aspects were thereafter split, with a clearly drunk Silenus representing the former, and a youthful Bacchus often shown with wings, because he carries the mind to higher places.

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