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Word Count: 1,935
Dionysus was the god of the vine He invented wine and spread the art of tending grapesHe had a dual nature On one hand he brought joy and divine ecstasy On the other handhe brought brutality thoughtlessness and rage This reflected both sides of wines natureIf he chooses Dionysus can drive a man mad No normal fetters can hold him or hisDionysus was the son of Zeus and Semele He was the only god to have a mortal parentZeus came to Semele in the night invisible felt only as a divine presence Semele waspleased to be a lover of a god even though she did not know which one Word soon gotaround and Hera quickly realized who was responsible Hera went to Semele in disguiseand convinced her she should see her lover as he really was When Zeus next came to hershe made him promise to grant her one wish She went so far as to make him swear on theRiver Styx that he would grant her request Zeus was madly in love and agreed She thenasked him to show her his true form Zeus was unhappy and knew what would happenbut having sworn he had no choice He appeared in his true form and Semele wasinstantly burnt to death by the sight of his glory Zeus did manage to rescue Dionysus andstitched him into his thigh to hold him until he was ready to be born His birth from Zeusalone conferred immortality upon himDionysus problems with Hera were not yet overShe was still jealous and arranged for the Titans to kill him The Titans ripped him intopieces However Rhea brought him back to life After this Zeus arranged for hisprotection and turned him over to the mountain nymphs to be raisedDionysus wandered the world actively encouraging his cult He was accompanied by theMaenads wild women flush with wine shoulders draped with a fawn skin carrying rodstipped with pine cones While other gods had temples
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