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Dionysus The Peoples God Dionysus was one the most influential of the Greek Gods Even though he didnt arrive in Greece until approximately 800 BC the impact from his followers is still felt in the world we live in today Dionysus was a demi-god meaning that he was only a half god which makes his rise to Mount Olympus even more amazing Dionysus represented everything that the people could relate with He was looked upon as a god of Life bringing water and viability to plant animal and man Dionysus was also the lone God of Wine which was a common drink in ancient Greece Finally he was a god that could grant ecstasy or madness in reward or punishment Due to these three concepts that Dionysus represented he was considered to be a god of the people who was fimiliar with the lifestyle of man To begin to learn how Dionysus affected the Classical Greeks one must first know of his origin Dionysus was the offspring between Zeus King of the Gods and Semele a princess of Thebes Hera was jealous of Semele and convinced her to make Zeus show Semele his true form only knowing that this would kill her and her baby When Semele is burned to death Zeus saves his unborn son and transplants the fetus into his leg Once born Dionysus was taken to Semeles sister Ino the Queen of Orchomenus To hide the child from Hera Ino disguises him as a girl Hera was not fooled so to punish Ino she drove her to madness Zeus changed Dionysus into a goat and sent him to live with the Nymphs in Nysa It was Nysa where Dionysus learned of fertility and wine When Hera found him she imposed the same madness on him as she did on Ino Dionysus wandered the earth for many years in a state of insanity He wandered until he
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