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Cupid and Bacchus

Also commonly known by his Roman name, Bacchus, appears to be a god who has two distinct origins. On the one hand, Dionysus was the god of wine, agriculture, and fertility of nature, who is also the patron god of the Greek stage. On the other hand, Dionysus also represents the outstanding features of mystery religions, such as those practiced at Eleusis: ecstasy, personal delivery from the daily world through physical or spiritual intoxication, and initiation into secret rites. Scholars have long suspected that the god known as Dionysus is in fact a fusion of a local Greek nature god, and another more potent god imported rather late in Greek pre-history from Phrygia (the central area of modern day Turkey) or Thrace. According to one myth, Dionysus is the son of the god Zeus and the mortal woman, Semele (daughter of Cadmus of Thebes). Semele is killed by Zeus’ lightning bolts while Dionysus is still in her womb. His birth from Zeus conferred immortality upon him. The festival for Dionysus was held in the spring when vines would start bearing leaves. It became one of the most important events of the year and its primary focal point was the theater. Most of the great Greek plays were initially written to be performed at the feast of Dionysus. All participants, writers, actors, spectators, were regarded as sacred servants of Dionysus during the festival.
Cupid and Bacchus

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