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DIÓNYSOS  (Gr.  Διόνυσος, ΔΙΟΝΥΣΟΣ.  The D in Diónysos is pronounced like the soft th in thee, not like the hard th in thesis: thee-OH'-nee-sohs.Diónysos is commonly called by the name Vákkhos (Gr. Βάκχος, ΒΑΚΧΟΣ) or as the Romans pronounced it, Bacchus.  

[Roman: Bacchus.  Etruscan: Fufluns, Pacha] 

For more information on the pronunciation of ancient Greek, visit this page: PRONUNCIATION OF ANCIENT GREEK.



Diónysos is one of the most important deities of the pantheon of Ællinismόs (Hellenismos; Gr. Ἑλληνισμός), the ancient Greek religion, but he is not included as one of the Twelve Olympians. He holds a very special position: Diónysos is the Klironómos (Gr. Κληρονόμος) by means of which Zefs (Zeus; Gr. Ζεύς) acts on Earth.


Diónysos is a constituent of the evolutionary progression of Aithir (Aether; Gr. Αἰθήρ) known as the dynasty of the Six Vasileis (Basileis = Kings; Gr. Βασιλεῖς [Βασιλεύς is singular]): Phánis (Gr. Φάνης), Nyx (Gr. Νύξ), Ouranós (Gr. Οὐρανός), Krónos (Gr. Κρόνος), Zefs, and Diónysos. [23] Please visit this page for the mythology of the Six Kings: Orphic Rhapsodic Theogony.



There are two major traditions regarding the birth and early life of Diónysos: he is said to have been born of both Pærsæphóni and also of Sæmǽli. There are other myths giving him different mothers, but the vast majority of authors follow these two major traditions regarding his birth. They are not just different and conflicting stories, but, rather, they represent two separate degrees in his progression. And there is yet another birth, the birth of Diónysos from the leg of Zefs; this is why in the Orphic hymn to the God (O.H. 30.2), he is called Thrice-born (Τρίγονος),

The scholars often say that the birth of Diónysos by Pærsæphóni is "Orphic" in contrast to the story of his birth by Sæmǽli. This is because the birth by Pærsæphóni is frequently mentioned in ancient literature considered Orphic, while the fragments do not mention the story of Sæmǽli directly. In reality, both of the mythologies are mystic and, as it is said, all the Mystíria (Mysteries; Gr. Μυστήρια) have Orphéfs (Orpheus; Gr. Ὀρφεύς) at their source.


According to the Orphic hymn 29, the mythographer Nόnnos (Nonnus; Gr. Νόννος), and elsewhere, Diónysos is the son of Zefs and Pærsæphóni (Persephone; Gr. Περσεφόνη) [13] by which (in Nόnnos) he is known as Zagréfs (Zagreus; Gr. Ζαγρεὐς) [21] (Latin: Jupiter Puer [33]). This birth is called the first influence of Zefs.

Mighty Zefs united with Pærsæphóni in the form of a serpent. From this union, Zagréfs was born. Zefs was delighted with his son and enthroned him, giving him his thunderbolts and presenting him to the Gods as their king 
[14] . 

The seven pairs of Titánæs (the Titans; Gr. Τιτᾶνες) smeared their faces with gypsum and lured little Zagréfs away from his thunderbolts by giving him seven toys, referred to as The Toys of Diónysos 
[12] :

1. Mirror (Ǽsoptrona; Gr. Ἔσοπτρονα)
2. Knuckle-Bone (Astrágalos; Gr. Ἀστράγαλος
3. Sphere or Ball (Sphaira; Gr. Σφαῖρᾰ)
4. Top (Rómvos; Gr. Ρόμβος)
5. Apples (Míla; Gr. Μῆλα)
6. Cone (Kónos; Gr. Κῶνος [Orphic verses] or Stróvilos; Gr. Στρόβιλος [Clement])
7. Pókos (Gr. Πόκος, tuft of hair)

Zagréfs, fascinated, gazed into the mirror. The Titanæs grasped him and prepared him for a great sacrifice. They cut him into pieces, carefully preserving the heart and limbs. They then took the remaining pieces, placed them on spits, roasted them and ate a portion 
[15] . Zefs smelled the savor of the ritual and sent Athiná (Athena; Gr. Ἀθηνᾶ) who rescued his still-beating heart, bringing it to him in a silver casket [16] . The limbs of Zagréfs were entrusted to Apóllohn by Zefs and he interred them at Mount Parnassós (Parnassus; Gr. Παρνασσός). [17] Mighty Zefs struck the Titánæs with a thunderbolt and from the soot that fell from their burnt bodies he fashioned a new generation of creatures who have immortal souls but who are chained to a sorrowful cycle of births and deaths, sometimes being reborn male, sometimes female, and they become tiny things such as insects and worms, and tiny animals of every kind and large animals of every kind, as well as human beings. [18] But regarding this sad state of affairs, Zefs, in his great compassion for his creatures, conceived a wondrous solution.

(For more information and citations regarding the mythology of Zagrefs, visit this page: ZAGRÉFS)


Now we continue with what is to many readers the more familiar mythology 
[6] . In this tradition, Diónysos is produced from the union of Zefs (Zeus) and Sæmǽli (Semele; Gr. Σεμέλη), the daughter of Kádmos (Cadmus; Gr. Κάδμος) and Armonía (Harmonia; Gr. Ἁρμονία) [7] . This birth is called the second influence of Zefs.

(Aphrodite; Gr. Ἀφροδίτη) united with Áris (Ares; Gr. Άρης) and gave birth to Armonía (Harmony). Armonía was given in marriage to Kádmos
[8] and they produced several children, but the most beautiful of them was a daughter whom they named Sæmǽli [9] . Mighty Zefs fell in love with Sæmǽli, impregnated her with the heart of Zagréfs, and promised her anything she desired. Íra (Hera; Gr. Ήρα), having discovered the liaison between her husband and the girl, obtained work in the household, disguised as a simple housemaid. She now gained Sæmǽli's confidence and the girl told her of the promise Zefs gave to her. Íra then tricked Sæmǽli into asking Zefs to appear to her in the same form that he had appeared to Íra when Zefs had courted the great Goddess. And Sæmǽli took her advise and made the request to Zefs. Unable to refuse because of his oath, Zefs came with his chariot and lightning and thunder. Overwhelmed by the majesty of Zefs, Sæmǽli died in the blazing flames. Zefs now rescued the infant Diónysos and sewed the little God into his very own thigh. When the gestation of the baby was up, Zefs undid the stitches and gave birth to Diónysos. Thus, from the heart of Zagréfs a new Diónysos is born who with Pærsæphóni will teach men Mysteries, rites and sacrifices to free them from the cycle of births [19] .

For a more poetic narrative of the three births of Diónysos, please visit this page: Orphic Rhapsodic Theogony.

Zefs entrusted the child to mighty Ærmís (Hermes; Gr. Ἑρμῆς) [10] .Ærmís (Hermes) gave the boy Diónysos to Athámas (Gr. (Gr. Ἀθάμας) and his wife Inóh Lefkothǽa (Ino Leukothea; Gr. Ἰνώ Λευκοθέα), who was sister of Sæmǽli and the daughter of Armonía and Kádmos. Ærmís made them disguise Diónysos as a girl for safekeeping, but Íra saw through their ruse and drove Inóh and Athámas mad. Therefore, Zefs transformed Diónysos into a kid goat and Ærmís took the kid away and left him in the guardianship of the nymphs of Nýsa (Gr. Νῦσα) in Asia [11]


According to Greek oral tradition as passed on to the author of this website, the Epiphany or birthday of Diónysos is celebrated on December 25, or rather beginning on the evening before the 25th, the commencement of the TWELVE DAYS OF DIΌNYSOS.


The principle hymn to Diónysos in the Orphic Hymns is number 30. In old editions of Thomas Taylor, the translation we prefer, the hymn was numbered XXIX (To Bacchus). All the hymns in these editions are off by one increment but this numbering problem has been corrected in the Prometheus Trust publication of Taylor's translations entitled Hymns and Initiations. Because so many people have the older numbering, we are providing those numbers designated as OTN, i.e. "old Taylor numbering." 

Next follows a list of all the Orphic hymns which relate, in one way or another, to Diόnysos.  

29. PÆRSÆPHÓNI  [Gr. Περσεφόνη]  (OTN ["old Taylor numbering"]: XXVIII.  To Proserpine)

30. DIÓNYSOS  [Gr. Διόνυσος]  (OTNXXIX. Bacchus)

42MÍSA  [Gr. Μίσα]  (OTNXLI. To Mises)

44. SÆMǼLI  [Gr. Σεμέλη] (OTNXLIII. To Semele)

45. DIÓNYSOS VASSARǼOHS [Gr. Διόνυσος Βασσαρέως]  (OTNXLIV. Dionysius Bassareus Triennalis)

46. LIKNÍTIS  [Gr. Λικνίτης] (OTNXLV. Liknitus Bacchus)

47. PÆRIKIÓNIOS [Gr. Περικῑόνιος] (OTNXLVI. Bacchus Pericionius)

48. SAVÁZIOS  [Gr. Σαβάζιος] (OTNXLVII.Sabasius)

49. ÍPTA  Gr. [Ἵπτα]  (OTNXLVIII. To Ippa)

50. LYSÍOS-LINAIOS  [Gr. Λυσίος Ληναίος] (OTNXLIX. To Lysius Lenæus)

52. TRIETIRIKOS  [Gr. Τριετηρικος?]  (OTN: LI. To Trietericus )

53. AMPHIÆTOUS  [Gr. Ἀμφιετοῦς] (OTN LII. To Amphietus Bacchus )

54. SEILINÓS, SÁTYROS, VÁKKHAI  [Gr. Σειληνός, Σάτυρος, Βάκχαι]  (OTNLIII. To Silenus, Satyrus, and the Priestesses of Bacchus)

74. LEFKOTHǼA  [Gr. Λευκοθέα] (OTNLXXIII. To Leucothea)

75. PALAIMOHN  [Gr. Παλαίμων] (OTNLXXIV.  o Palæmon)


Please follow this link to a page which includes the ancient Greek text of the Orphic Hymn to Diónysos (30, the most important one), a transliteration for easy pronunciation, the translation by Thomas Taylor, along with a complete breakdown and explanation of the hymn:

The Orphic Hymn to Diónysos


In Iconography, Diónysos is depicted in several ways: Diónysos the infant; Diónysos the beautiful long-haired youth; Diónysos the mature bearded and richly adorned God. He often holds a fennel staff with a pine-cone at its end called the Thýrsos (Gr. Θύρσος). His head is frequently crowned with grape-leaves and even bunches of grapes, or a royal crown, sometimes wearing the skin of a panther. In his entourage can be found Mainádæs (Maenads; Gr. Μαινάδες), his female devotees, and Sátyri (Satyrs; Gr. Σάτυροι). He can be seen riding a tiger, or even a lion, an ass, or a panther.  Diónysos is often portrayed holding a wine-cup


The origins of Theater in the western hemisphere have their roots in ancient Greece, most likely having its roots in the festivals of Diónysos called the Rural Dionýsia (Gr. Διονύσια). It is said that the plays began as performances of songs by groups of men in goat-masks, the goat being sacred to the God.



Diónysos is often called Twice-Born because he was first rescued from the womb of Sæmǽli, sewn into the thigh of Zefs from which he was born again. He is also called Thrice-Born: Diónysos-PhánisDiónysos-Zagréfs the 'victim' of the Titánæs (Titans; Gr. Τιτᾶνες), and Diónysos the resurrected.

Ælefthæréfs - (Eleftherefs, or Eleutherius; Gr. Ἐλευθερεύς, ΕΛΕΥΘΕΡΕΥΣ)  
Diónysos the Liberator; his name at Eleftheræ, in Bœotia, and at Athens; the same as the Liber of the Latins.  (See Liber.)  (CM*p.181)  
Diónysos the Deliverer. "The oldest sanctuary of Dionysus is near the theatre. Within the precincts are two temples and two statues of Dionysus, the Eleuthereus (Deliverer) and the one Alcamenes made of ivory and gold. There are paintings here--Dionysus bringing Hephaestus up to heaven. One of the Greek legends is that Hephaestus, when he was born, was thrown down by Hera. In revenge, he sent as a gift a golden chair with invisible fetters. When Hera sat down she was held fast, and Hephaestus refused to listen to any other of the Gods save Dionysus--in him he reposed the fullest trust--and after making him drunk Dionysus brought him to heaven." (Paus. Guide to GreeceAttica Book I.20.3, trans. Jones)
- "a surname of Dionysus, which he derived either from Eleuther, or the Boeotian town of Eleutherae; but it may also be regarded as equivalent to the Latin Liber, and thus describes Dionysus as the deliverer of man from care and sorrow. (Paus. i. 20. § 2, 38. § 8; Plut. Quaest. Rom. 101.) The form Eleutherius is certainly used in the sense of the deliverer, and occurs also as the surname of Zeus." (Plut. Sympos. vii. in fin.; Pind. Ol. xii. 1; Strab. ix. p.412; Tacit. Ann. xv. 64.)" (DGRBM Vol.II, p. 9, right column)

Diónysos - (Gr. Διόνυσος, ΔΙΟΝΥΣΟΣNonnos says in his book Dionysiaká (Dionysiaca; Gr. Διονυσιακά), that Ærmís named the God Zefs-limp; Διός meaning 'Zefs' + νῦσος (= χωλός) meaning 'lame' or 'limping' because the child was bound in the leg of Zefs and it made him limp. [27]  See below The Etymology and Meaning of the Name Diónysos.

Liber or Father Liber (Latin: Liber Pater) is a Latin or Roman name for Diónysos. [31]  Liber means free. [32]

Vákkhos (Gr. Βάκχος, ΒΑΚΧΟΣ) 

Lexicon entry: 1) name of Diónysos, 2) wine, 3) generally anyone inspired, frantic. [1]

"He is also called both by Greeks and Romans Bacchus (Βάκχος), that is, the noisy or riotous God, which was originally a mere epithet or surname of Dionysus, but does not occur till after the time of Herodotus." [2]

Zagréfs (Zagreus; Gr. Ζαγρεύς, ΖΑΥΡΕΥΣ). "son of Zeus and Persephone, slain by the Titans and resuscitated as Dionysus" [3] 

The name derives from zohgrǽoh (zogrio; Gr. ζωγρέω) meaning "he who captures alive" [4] which is the correct understanding of the meaning of his name as understood by this author.

Walter Otto calls 
Zagréfs the 'Great Hunter', which he takes to be derived from agrévohn (Gr. ἀγρεύων). [20] M.L. West disagrees with this etymology: "The etymologist (ed. not referring to Walter Otto but to an early etymological book) falsely explains Zagreus' name from za - 'very' and agreuein 'hunt.' " [22]

To learn many more names of Diónysos, visit these pages:  

Diónysos - The Epithets I: A through K

Diónysos - The Epithets II: L through Z


The etymology of the name Diónysos (Gr. Διόνυσος) is Διός (genitive of Zefsοἶνος (wine), as explained from the Mystical point of view.  

Diós (Gr. Διός, not to be confused with Δηώ, the name of Dimítir [Demeter] ) is the genitive of Zefs (Zeus; Gr. Ζεύς); it means "of Zefs." Diós is the name used to designate the dividing (Dionysian) power of Zefs; the name Zefs itself is used to designate the uniting (Apollonian) power of the God. (See Zefs Unites, Zefs Divides on this page: Zefs.)  

The word Diónysos can have several meanings:

1) Diónysos is the action of Zefs on the soul.

2) Any deified soul is a Diónysos, referred to in the feminine because she has accepted the influence of Zefs on her soul, but such a Diónysos is not necessarily the Diónysos (as in 3 below).

3) Diónysos is a personal God, a particular God, one of the Six Kings (Vasilefs or BasileusGr. Βασιλεύς). Who is the Diónysos? Diónysos Vasilefs is the Successor, the Successor to Zeus. [35]


Looking around the various websites and discussion groups, we find Di
ónysos described as the king of drunkenness and irrationality. He is often contrasted with his brother Apóllohn who exemplifies moderation and reason. While it can be understood where these ideas come from (greatly exaggerated by Nietzsche and others), somehow the reality of who this God is escapes such reduction. But his purpose is clearly stated in the Orphic fragments and elsewhere. Nónnos (Gr. Νόννος) writes of his mother Sæmǽli:

"Happy woman! you have conceived a son who will make mortals forget their troubles, you shall bring forth joy for Gods and men." [36]

Why has Diónysos come? The Orphic Rhapsodic Theogony (See The Sixth King) is very clear. Zefs has created a new generation of beings, our generation. This is the best generation possible constrained by natural laws to which even the Gods are subject. Although we have opportunities to experience the wondrous beauty that our world offers, there is also gripping pain. We have immortal souls from our Father, but we have mortal bodies. If we live a long life, old age will rob us of our beauty and health. Eventually sickness or violence takes us down. After death our souls wander to find new bodies and we repeat this cycle endlessly, becoming male and female and every kind of creature in an relentless circle of births (κύκλος γενέσεως). This process is not voluntary. But Zefs foresaw our lot; he looked upon his children with great compassion and devised a plan: Zefs conceived a great son, Diónysos, who has come to us with his Mysteries to free us from the sorrowful cycle of births. Diónysos is the fulfillment of the providence of Zefs. Diónysos is the action of Zefs working on earth in a magnanimous plan to save us from our suffering.


Wine or Ínos (Gr. οἶνος) and its intoxicating character is a major symbol in Hellenic mythology. Its primary association is with Diónysos. Wine is representative of the divine Aithír (Aether; Gr. Αἰθήρof Zefs' influence on the soul. Dark red sweet wine is symbolic of the blood, the Ikhóhr (Ichor; Gr. Ιχώρ) of Diónysos, and therefore used in libation as a type of sacrifice. As the Titánæs (Titans; Gr. Τιτᾶνες) ate of his body in a great sacrifice (See Orphic Rhapsodic Theogony: The Sixth King), we partake of the God's essence by drinking the wine.

The poet Nónnos in the 12th book of his Διονυσιακά tells the story of how the Thrakian Sátyros (Satyr; Gr. Σάτυρος) Ámbælos (Ampelos; Gr. Ἄμπελος, grapevine), a lover of Diónysos, was killed by a bull. The God revived his beloved companion in the form of the grapevine from which the wine comes forth. In the same chapter Nónnos refers to wine as Ikhóhr:

"But the poets have another and older legend, how once upon a time fruitful Olympian ichor fell down from heaven and produced the potion of Bacchic wine..." (Νόννος Διονυσιακά 12.292, trans. W.H.D. Rouse, 1940. We are using the 1962 edition entitled Nonnos Dionysiaca published by Harvard Univ. Press [Cambridge, MA] and William Heinemann [London], where this quotation may be found on p. 419.)

"...the pine swayed by Boreas brought her branches near the bunches of grapes, and shook her fragrant leafage soaked in the blood." (Ibid. Rouse, 12.316, p. 421.)

See also: The Wine of Diónysos.


Amvrosía - (Ἀμβροσία, ΑΜΒΡΟΣΙΑ) The Amvrosía is a festival of Diónysos. (Etymologicum Magnum 564.13)

Phalliphória - (Gr. Φαλληφόρια, ΦΑΛΛΗΦΟΡΙΑ) The Phaliphória is a festival of Diónysos held during the brumal month of Poseidæóhn (Poseideon; Gr. Ποσειδεών. Dec./Jan.). A herald bearing a staff with a leather phallus at its peak heads the procession of ivy-crowned participants wearing masks or having painted their faces, drinking the new wine. Ref. Aristophánis (Gr. Ἀριστοφάνης) Akarneis (The Acharnians; Gr. Ἀχαρνεῖς) 241-262.

Twelve Days of Diónysos

The story of the birth of the GodsOrphic Rhapsodic Theogony.
We know the various qualities and characteristics of the Gods based on metaphorical stories: Mythology
Dictionary of terms related to ancient Greek mythology: Glossary of Hellenic Mythology.

Introduction to the Thæí (the Gods): The Nature of the Gods.


A list of abbreviations can be found at the bottom of this page: GLOSSARY HOME.

[1] Greek-English Lexicon (L&S) by H.G. Liddell and R. Scott, 1843; we are using the 1996 Clarendon Press edition (Oxford, England,  p. 303).

[2] A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (DGRBM) Vol. I, edited by William Smith, 1880; original 1880 edition by John Murray.  We are using the 2007 I.B Tauris edition (London, England & New York, USA), p. 1046, within the entry for Diónysos.

[3] L&S, p. 752.

[4] L&S, p. 758, for the definition of zohgrǽohζωγρέω. It can be found in the right column within the definitions of ζωγρεία. Look for ζωγρ-έω, take, save alive, take captive instead of killing. II. restore to life and strength, revive; preserve alive

[5] In his Guide to Greece, Book I.20, Pafsanías (Pausanias; Gr. Παυσανίας) speaks of a sanctuary of Diónysos and a statue of him, God of Ælefthǽrai (Eleutherai; Gr. Ελευθέραι), and he describes paintings there of the God making Íphaistos (Hephaestus; Gr. Ἥφαιστος) drunk to take him back to the heavens after being thrown out into misery. In Smith's Dictionary of Greek and Roman Mythology, the entry for Eleuthereus (Vol. 2, p. 9) states that the form 'Eleutherius' conveys the meaning of deliverer (and is also used as a surname for Zeus).

[6] DGRBM p. 1046, in the entry for Diónysos:  "The common story, which makes Dionysus a son of Semele by Zeus...." 

[7] "For some say, at Dracanum; and some, on windy Icarus; and some, in Naxos, O Heaven-born, Insewn; and others by the deep-eddying river Alpheus that pregnant Semele bare you to Zeus the thunder-lover."  (Homeric Hymn ITo Diόnysos, translated by H.G. Evelyn-White in 1914, found on p. 287 in the 1936 Loeb Classical Library edition of Hesiod, The Homeric Hymns and Homerica [HHH], Harvard Univ. Press [Cambridge, MA USA] and William Heinemann LTD. [London, England].)

Zefs fathered "Liber (ed. Diónysos) by Semele, the daughter of Cadmus and Harmonia."  (Hyginus' Fabulae, 155 Jupiter's Children, as translated by R. Scott Smith and Stephen M. Trzaskoma, 2007, in Apollodorus' Library and Hyginus' Fabulae [ALHF], Hackett Publishing Co. [Indianapolis IN USA and Cambridge], p. 150)

[8] "Also Cytherea bare to Ares the shield-piercer Panic and Fear, terrible Gods who drive in disorder the close ranks of men in numbing war, with the help of Ares, sacker of towns; and Harmonia whom high-spirited Cadmus made his wife."  (HHH, Evelyn-White,  p. 149) 

[9] Apollódohros (Gr. Ἀπολλόδωρος) Vivliothíki (Library; Gr. Βιβλιοθήκη) Book III. IV.2, trans. by J.G. Frazer in Apollodorus The Library Vol. I (Ap.I), 1939.  Loeb Classical Library LCL 121. We are using the 1990 edition. Harvard Univ. Press (Cambridge MA USA and London England) p. 317:   

"After his (ed. Kadmos) servitude (ed. for having slew the dragon of Áris) Athena procured for him the kingdom, and Zeus gave him to wife Harmonia, daughter of Aphrodite and Ares....And to Cadmus were born daughters, Autone, Ino, Semele...."

Aphrodíti and Áris (Ares; Gr. Άρης) produce a child, Armonía (Harmonia; Gr. Ἁρμονία). Armonía is the result of the necessary struggles which are provided by Áris, struggles which have been harmonized at the Eighth Íkos (Oikos; Gr. Οἶκος. See Hellenic Zodiacal Calendar) by Aphrodíti. Armonía is wedded to Kádmos, a divine being (the name Kádmos meaning "bright" or "light."), a Light Being. Armonía and Kádmos give birth, transforming Armonía into Sæmǽli (Semele; Gr. Σεμέλη), and when Sæmǽli is burnt, she is transformed into the baby Diónysos.

[10] Apollódohros (Gr. Ἀπολλόδωρος) Vivliothíki (Library; Gr. Βιβλιοθήκη) (Ap.I Frazer) Book III. IV.3, pp. 317-319:  

"But Zeus loved Semele and bedded with her unknown to Hera. Now Zeus had agreed to do for her whatever she asked, and deceived by Hera she asked that he would come to her as he came when he was wooing Hera. Unable to refuse, Zeus came to her bridal chamber in a chariot, with lightnings and thunderings, and launched a thunderbolt. But Semele expired of fright, and Zeus, snatching the sixth-month abortive child from the fire, sewed it in his thigh. ....... But at the proper time Zeus undid the stitches and gave birth to Dionysus, and entrusted him to Hermes."

Sæmǽli (Semele; Gr. Σεμέλη) receives the influence of Zefs (Zeus; Gr.Ζεύς), the Dionysian influence, at the Eighth Íkos (Oikos; Gr. Οἶκος. See Hellenic Zodiacal Calendar) and is transformed ("from the fire") into Diónysos. Likewise, all souls who become divine, who become Demi-Gods, accept the Dionysian influence of Zefs at the Eighth Íkos, the realm of the Heroes, and may be called "a Diónysos" for this reason. Such souls are not quite Gods, but they are almost Gods. If they progress further, they will become Gods by means of the Pairs and the Aithirial penetration of one of the male Olympian deities at the Ninth Íkos, the Gate of Divinity, but only a soul who has been deified by Zefs himself at the Ninth Íkos has the possibility of becoming the real Diónysos, and only one of these will do so.

[11] Apollódohros (Gr. Ἀπολλόδωρος) Vivliothíki (Library; Gr. Βιβλιοθήκη) (Ap.I Frazer) Book III. IV.3, pp. 319-321: 

"And he conveyed him to Ino and Athamas, and persuaded them to rear him as a girl.  But Hera indignantly drove them mad, and Athamas hunted his elder son Learchus as a deer and killed him, and Ino threw Melicertes into a boiling cauldron, then carrying it with the dead child she sprang into the deep.  And she herself is called Leucothea, and the boy is called Palaemon, such being the names they get from sailors; for they succour storm-tossed mariners.  And the Isthmian games were instituted by Sisyphus in honour of Melicertes.  But Zeus eluded the wrath of Hera by turning Dionysus into a kid, and Hermes brought him to the nymphs who dwelt at Nysa in Asia, whom Zeus afterwards changed into stars and named them the Hyades."

[12] The Christian theologian Clement of Alexandria, in his criticism of the Mysteries, truly an abomination, lists the Toys of Diónysos:  

"The mysteries of Dionysus are wholly inhuman; for while still a child, and the Curetes danced around (his cradle) clashing their weapons, and the Titans having come upon them by stealth, and having beguiled him with childish toys, these very Titans tore him limb from limb when but a child, as the bard of this mystery, the Thracian Orpheus, says:- 'Cone, and spinning-top, and limb-moving rattles, And fair golden apples from the clear-toned Hesperides.'  And the useless symbols of this mystic rite it will not be useless to exhibit for condemnation. These are dice, ball, hoop, apples, top, looking-glass, tuft of wool."  (Clement of Alexandria's Exhortation to the Heathen, Chapter II.176—The Absurdity and Impiety of the Heathen Mysteries and Fables About the Birth and Death of their Godstranslation from The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol.II, Fathers of the Second Century, editors being Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Cox, 1885)  

Arnobius of Sicca gives a shorter but almost identical list. Perhaps he had access to Clement's work, which was a century before that of Arnobius:

1. Mirror

2. Dice
3. Balls
4. Tops
5. Golden Apples
6. Hoops

"...how Liber, when taken up with boyish sports, was torn asunder by the Titans; how he was cut up limb by limb by them also, and thrown into pots that he might be cooked; how Jupiter, allured by the sweet savour, rushed unbidden to the meal, and discovering what had been done, overwhelmed the revellers with his terrible thunder, and hurled them to the lowest part of Tartarus. As evidence and proof of which, the Thracian bard handed down in his poems the dice, mirror, tops, hoops, and smooth balls, and golden apples taken from the virgin Hesperides." (Arnobius Against the Heathen V.19, trans. Hamilton Bryce and Hugh Campbell. From Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol. 6. Edited by Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe. ([Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1886.)] Revised and edited for New Advent by Kevin Knight.)

[13] Citations regarding the parentage of Zagréfs-Diónysos:

Orphic Fragment 58:

"...how he (ed. Zefs) transgressed Pærsæphóni, his daughter; here again transforming himself into a serpent, and thus became the father of Diónysos..."

Orphic Hymn 29:

"Mother of Bacchus, sonorous, divine,..." (Orphéfs [Orpheus] Hymn 29. Pærsæphóni [To Proserpine], line 11, translated by Thomas Taylor (HO) in The Hymns of Orpheus [HO] 1792 [London England], found on p. 153)

The same passage in another translation:  

"Mother of loud-roaring and many shaped Eubouleus"  (Orphéfs [Orpheus] Hymn 29. Pærsæphóni [To Proserpine], line 8, translated by Apostolos Athanassakis in The Orphic Hymns [OH] in 1977, published by Scholars Press for The Society of Biblical Literature (Atlanta, GA USA); we are using the 1988 reprint, p. 43)

Continuing with more quotations regarding the parentage of Diónysos:

"Of Jove and Proserpine, occultly born."  (Orphéfs [Orpheus] Hymn 30. Dionysos, line 10, HO Taylor p. 155) 

"Resourceful Eubouleus, immortal God sired by Zeus when he mated with Persephone in unspeakable union."  (See also Orphéfs [Orpheus] Hymn 30 To Dionysos, line 6, OH Athanassakis p. 43)

Editor's comment: The Taylor (as originally published in 1792) and Athanassakis numbering systems for the Orphic Hymns differ by one increment. To give example, Taylor's XXIX is the same hymn as Athanassakis' 30. This numbering problem appears to be a fault of Taylor being that it is that used in Greek editions of the hymns and the fact that the numbering was changed/corrected to match the Greek editions in the recent The Prometheus Trust edition of Taylor's translations of the poems entitled Hymns and Initiations. 

Continuing with more quotations regarding the parentage of Diónysos:

"How Jove once in a satyr's guise had got 

Antiope with twins, and, as Amphitryon,

Bedded Alcmena; in a golden shower

Fooled Danae, Aegina in a flame,

And as a shepherd snared Mnemosyne,

And as a spotted serpent Proserpine."

(Ovid Metamorphoses VI.113-118, translated by A. D. Melville in Ovid Metamorphoses [OM], Oxford Univ. Press World's Classic paperback [Oxford England and New York NY USA], 1986/1987, p. 124)


[14] "Ah, maiden Persephoneia!  You could not find how to escape your mating! No, a dragon was your mate, when Zeus changed his face and came, rolling in many a loving coil through the dark to the corner of the maiden's chamber, and shaking his hairy chaps: he lulled to sleep as he crept the eyes of those creatures of his own shape who guarded the door. He licked the girl's form gently with wooing lips. By this marriage with the heavenly dragon, the womb of Persephone swelled with living fruit, and she bore Zagreus the horned baby, who by himself climbed upon the heavenly throne of Zeus and brandished lightning in his little hand, and newly born, lifted and carried thunderbolts in his tender fingers." (Nόnnos [Gr. Νόννος] Dionysiaká [Dionysiaca; Gr. Διονυσιακά] VI.155-168, found in the Loeb Classical Library edition entitled Nonnos Dionysiaca Vol. I [ND I], as translated by W.H.D. Rouse in 1940, pp. 225-227.)

"(Zeus makes Dionysos king) for all he was young and but a greedy infant." (Orphicorum Fragmenta 207, Rhapsodic Theogony, preserved from Próklos, from Otto Kern's work, found in Orpheus and Greek Religion [OGR] by W.K.C. Guthrie in 1952, p. 141 of the 1993 edition)

208. (190) Πρόκλος Commentary on Πλάτων Κρατύλος 396b p. 55, 5 Pasq.: 

κλῦτε, θεοί· τόνδ' ὔμμιν ἐγὼ βασιλήα τίθημι

(Zefs speaks) "Hear me, you Gods: this one (Diónysos) I establish as king." (trans. by the author)

[15] "Seven parts of the child in all did they divide between them." (Orphicorum Fragmenta 210b, Rhapsodic Theogony, preserved from Próklos, from Otto Kern's work, OGR Guthrie in 1952, p. 141.)

Zefs fathered "Liber (ed. Diónysos) by Proserpina; the Titans ripped him apart." (Hyginus' Fabulae, 155 Jupiter's Children, ALHF Scott Smith and Trzaskoma p. 150)

"But he did not hold the throne of Zeus for long. By the fierce resentment of implacable Hera, the Titans cunningly smeared their round faces with disguising chalk, and while he contemplated his changeling countenance reflected in a mirror they destroyed him with an infernal knife. There where his limbs had been cut piecemeal by the Titan steel, the end of his life was the beginning of a new life as Dionysos. He appeared in another shape, and changed into many forms: now young like crafty Cronides shaking the aegis-cape, now as ancient Cronos heavy-kneed, pouring rain. Sometimes he was a curiously formed baby, sometimes like a mad youth with the flower of the first down marking his rounded chin with black. Again, a mimic lion he uttered a horrible roar in furious rage from a wild snarling throat, as he lifted a neck shadowed by a thick mane, marking his body on both sides with the self-striking whip of a tail which flickered about over his hairy back. Next, he left the shape of a lion's looks and let out a ringing neigh, now like an unbroken horse that lifts his neck on high to shake out the imperious tooth of the bit, and rubbing, whitened his cheek with hoary foam. Sometimes he poured out a whistling hiss from his mouth, a curling horned serpent covered with scales, darting out his tongue from his gaping throat, and leaping upon the grim head of some Titan encircled his neck in snaky spiral coils. Then he left the shape of the restless crawler and became a tiger with gay stripes on his body; or again like a bull emitting a counterfeit roar from his mouth he butted the Titans with sharp horn. So he fought for his life, until Hera with jealous throat bellowed harshly through the air--that heavy-resentful step-mother! and the gates of Olympos rattled in echo to her jealous throat from high heaven. Then the bold bull collapsed: the murderers each eager for his turn with the knife chopt piecemeal the bull-shaped Dionysos.

"After the first Dionysos had been slaughtered, Father Zeus learnt the trick of the mirror with its reflected image. He attacked the mother of the Titans (Earth) with avenging brand, and shut up the murderers of horned Dionysos within the gate of Tartaros: the trees blazed, the hair of suffering Earth was scorched with heat. He kindled the East: the dawnlands of Bactria blazed under blazing bolts, the Assyrian waves set afire the neighbouring Caspian Sea and the Indian mountains, the Red Sea rolled billows of flame and warmed Arabian Nereus. The opposite West also fiery Zeus blasted with his thunderbolt in love for his child; and under the foot of Zephyros the western brine half-burnt spat out a shining stream; the Northern ridges--even the surface of the frozen Northern Sea bubbled and burned: under the clime of snowy Aigoceros the Southern corner boiled with hotter sparks.

"Now Oceanos poured rivers of tears from his watery eyes, a libation of suppliant prayer. Then Zeus calmed his wrath at the sight of the scorched earth; he pitied her, and wished to wash with water the ashes of ruin and the fiery wounds of the land.

"Then Rainy Zeus covered the whole sky with clouds and flooded all the earth. Zeus's heavenly trumpet bellowed with its thunderclaps, while all the stars moved in their appointed houses: when the Sun in his four-horse chariot drove shining over the Lion's back, his own house; the Moon of threefold form rolled in her on-running car over the eightfoot Crab; Cypris (Venus) in her equinoctial course under the dewy region had left the Ram's horn behind, and held her spring-time house in the heavenly Bull which knows no winter; the Sun's neighbour Ares (Mars) possessed the Scorpion, harbinger of the Plow, encircled by the blazing Bull, and ogled Aprhodite opposite with a sidelong glance; Zeus (Jupiter) of nightfall, the twelvemonth traveller who completes the lichtgang, was treading on the starry Fishes, having on his right the round-faced Moon in trine; Cronos (Saturn) passed through the shower back of Aigoceros (Capricorn) drenched in the frosty light; round the bright Maiden (Virgo), Hermes was poised on his pinions, because as a dispenser of justice he had Justice for his house."  (Nόnnos [Gr. Νόννος] Dionysiaká [Dionysiaca; Gr. Διονυσιακά, VI.169, ND I Rouse, pp. 227-231. This version of the story, with its colorful description of Zagréfs assuming many forms to escape the Titans recalls the story told to Tilǽmakhos [Telemachus; Gr. Τηλέμαχος] by Mænǽlaos [Menelaus; Gr Μενέλαος], when he wrestled the sea-God Prohtéfs [Proteus; Gr. Πρωτεύς] in the Odýsseia [Odyssey; Gr. Ὀδύσσεια] of Ómiros [Homer; Gr. Ὅμηρος] Book IV 488-520. The story of what follows the death of Zagréfs continues in the Dionysiaká with Zefs' [Zeus; Gr. Ζεύς] rage at the loss of his son, finally resulting in his [Zefs] producing the great flood of Defkalíohn [Deucalion; Gr. Δευκαλίων].)

"When they [the Titanæs {Titans; Gr. Τιτᾶνες}]  had slain the infant Dionysos, they tasted of his flesh.  In wrath at the outrage Zeus launched a thunderbolt at them and burned them up, and from the smoking remnants of the Titans there arose a race which this age had not yet know, the race of mortal men."  (OGR Guthrie p. 83.)

"The people of Patrai have a story about Dionysos, how he was brought up at Mesatis, and the Titans had a plot against him and he was in danger from every direction..."  (Pafsanías [Pausanias; Gr. Παυσανίας] Guide to Greece, Book VII Achaia 18.3, translated by Peter Levi in Pausanias' Guide to Greece 1: Central Greece [PGG1], 1971 Penguin, found in the 1979 edition on p. 273)

"Titans were first introduced into poetry by Homer, who says they are Gods in Tartaros: the verses are in Hera's oath.  Onomakritos took the name of Titans from Homer for the revels of Dionysos he composed; he made the Titans responsible for Dionysos's sufferings."  (Pafsanías [Pausanias; Gr. Παυσανίας] Guide to Greece, Book VIII Arkadia 37.5, PGG2 Peter Levi pp. 464-465) 

Hidden in this mythology, the Titánæs, whose name, according to Isíodos (Hesiod; Gr. Ἡσίοδος) Th.207is derived from τιταίνω ("to stretch"), are opening ("stretching") the seven centers of Diónysos' soul.

[16] "Only the heart, the seat of thought, did they leave." (Orphicorum Fragmenta 210a, Rhapsodic Theogony, preserved from Próklos, from Otto Kern's work, OGR Guthrie p. 141)

[17] This story is told by M.L. West in The Orphic Poems (OP), 1983, Clarendon/Oxford Press (Oxford England and New York NY USA) pp. 74-75. The numbers below in parenthesis refer to the Orphicorum Fragmenta from the Rhapsodic Theogony

(Zefs fathers a child) " 7. With Kore, in Crete, again in snake form, producing Dionysus (58, 153, 303)."  F.  "The infant Dionysus is received from Zeus' thigh by Hipta, who puts him in a winnowing-basket on her head with a snake wound round it and hurries to Mount Ida and the mother of the Gods (199). There he is guarded by the dancing Kouretes (34, 151), probably for five years. Young as he is, Zeus sets him on his throne, puts the sceptre in his hands, and announces to the Gods that this is their new king (207-8, cf. 107, 218, Nonn. D. 6.165 ff.). The Titans, moved by jealousy, or prompted by the jealous Hera (210, 214, 216c, 220), whiten their faces with gypsum (Nonn. 6.169) and deceive him with a mirror made by Hephaestus, which he follows, apples from the Hesperides, a pine-cone (?), a bull-roarer, a ball, knucklebones, wool, and puppets; they also give him a narthex (34, 209, Procl. on Hes. Op.52). Then they slash him into seven pieces which they boil, roast, and taste (34, 35, 210b, 214, 220). But Athena a preserves the heart, which is still palpitating, and takes it to Zeus in a casket; there is lamentation (35, 210, 214). The Titans are blasted with the thunderbolt (35, 214, cf. 120); Atlas is made to support the sky (215). Zeus entrusts Dionysus' limbs to Apollo, who takes them to Parnassus and inters them (35, 209, 211, 213, 240). But from the heart a new Dionysus is given life (214, Proclus Hymn 7.14 f., Nonn. 24.48 f.)."   

[18] "G.  The smoke from the blasted Titans deposits a soot from which Zeus creates a new race of mortals (140, 220, 224). There had been a golden race of men created by Phanes, and a silver race under Kronos that enjoyed as long a life as the date-palm (140-2, 225). Zeus now creates animals, birds, and a foolish human race that does not know good and evil (233). But though their bodies are mortal, their souls are immortal, drawn from the air, and passing through a series of human and animal bodies (228, 224). When a soul leaves an animals's body, it floats around until another one catches it off the wind; but when it leaves a human body, Hermes leads it below the earth (223). There it is judged: the good have the better fate, going to the meadow by Acheron and the misty lake, while the wicked are led to Tartarus and the plain of Cocytus (222, cf. 123, 125). The Styx is also to be found there, a branch of Oceanus and one of its ten parts (116). A God that swears falsely upon it is punished in Tartarus for nine thousand (v.l. nine) years (295).  Souls spend three hundred years in the other world and then are reborn (231). But their aim is to achieve release from the round of misery..."  (M.L. West's summary found in The Orphic Poems p. 75. The numbers in parenthesis refer to the Orphicorum Fragmenta from the Rhapsodic Theogony)

[19] "...Zeus has ordered purification ceremonies to go forth from Crete (156), and Dionysus has been appointed with Kore to assist mankind to find their release through regular sacrifices and rites (229, 230, 232)."  (M.L. West's summary found in OP p. 75. The numbers in parenthesis refer to the Orphicorum Fragmenta from the Rhapsodic Theogony)

"Hear, O blessed son of Zeus and of two mothers, Bacchos of the vintage,..."  (Orphic Hymn 50To Lysios--Lenaios, OH Athanassakis p. 67.)

(Of Diónysos)  "You burst froth from the earth in a blaze..., O son of two mothers,..."  (Orphic Hymn 52.  To the God of Triennial Feasts, OH Athanassakis, 1977, p. 69.)

[20] L&S p.14: ἂγρευμα is defined as 'prey '; ἂγρεὐς as 'hunter' (which the lexicon points out is an epithet of Apóllohn, AristaiosPoseidóhn, as well as Diόnysos).

[21] The first mention we have of the name Zagréfs occurs as a tiny fragment from a lost epic by an anonymous author, the Alkmaiohnís (Alcmaeonis; Gr. Ἀλκμαιωνίς):  

"Holy Earth and Zagreus Greatest of all Gods." (source: Alkmaiohnís, fragment 3, Ap. Etym. Gud. p. 227).

From Dionysus - Myth and Cult, by Walter F. Otto, 1965 as translated into English by Robert B. Palmer on p. 191:  

"To be sure, we meet the myth of the rending of Dionysus-Zagreus first in an allusion in a poem which is ascribed to Onomacritus.  But K.O. Müller (Prolegomena, pp. 390 ff.), Welcker (Griechische Götterlehre, Vol.II, p. 637), and recently, with reference to Herodotus 8. 27, Weniger (ARW 10, pp. 61 ff.) have rightly insisted, in opposition to Lobeck (Aglaophamus, Vol.I, pp. 6670 ff.), that it must have been much older than this.  As a papyrus fragment from the holy books (Printed in Kern, Orph. frag., pp. 101 f.), it belongs to the Dionysiac belief, and it was from this that the Orphics took it over. (See Wilamowitz, Der Glaube der Hellenen, Vol.II, pp. 373 ff.).  At the festival of the Lenaea it was remembered in hymns. (Scol. Clem. Al. Protr. 4. 4 p.297. 4 Stähl; Deubner, Attische Feste, op. cit., p. 126)  And it is the Dionysiac belief on which its meaning is based."

From Pafsanías (Pausanias; Gr. Παυσανίας) Book VIII Arkadía (Arcadia; Gr. Αρκαδία) 37.5, PGG 2 Levi,  pp. 465-466: 

"By the statue of the Mistress stands Anytos as an armed man. The people round the sanctuary say the Mistress was brought up by Anytos, who was one of the Titans as they are called. Titans were first introduced into poetry by Homer, who says they are Gods in Tartaros: the verses are in Hera's oath. Onomakritos took the name of Titans from Homer for the revels of Dionysos he composed; he made the Titans responsible for Dionysos's sufferings."

[22] West is referring to the entry for Zagréfs from the Etymologicum Gudianum, defined as  "the one who greatly hunts."  This is explained in Professor West's book Greek Epic Fragments, 2003, on p. 61. Look for "3 Etymologicum Gudianum" in the middle of the page and also read note 17.

[23] Source:  OGR Guthrie p. 82; not a direct quote.

[25] "driving care away, of Dionysus, AP9.524.12" (L&S p. 1066.  It can be found under the heading Λῡσῐ-ἐθειρα, at the very end) 

[26] Athanassakis defines Lysios (Λὐσιος) as 'he that frees' or 'he that sets loose.'  He defines Linaios (Lenaios; Gr. Ληναιος) as 'of the wine-press.'  (OH Athanassakis, p. 129) 

     Lexicon entry: Lysios Λὐσιος [ῡ] α, ον (Λὐσις) releasing, delivering, Λὐσιοι θεοἰ the Gods who deliver from curse or sin, Pl.R.366a; esp. Λὐσιος, as an epithet of Dionysos, Plutarch 2.613c, Corn.ND30, Orph.H.50.2, cf. Pausanias 9.16.6;Λὐσιοι τελεταἰ, of Dionysos Λὐσιος, Phot.s.h.v.; also Λὐσειος, Orph.H.42.4; voc. Λυσεῦ, ib.52.2 (Κισσεῦ Lobeck).  (L&S p. 1066)

     Lexicon entry:   Lenaios Ληναῖος, α, ον, (ληνὀς ῑ) belonging to the wine-press; esp. 1. epithet of Dionysos, as God of the wine-press, D.S.3.63.  2.  Λἠναια (sc. ἱερἀ), τἀ, the Lenaea, an Athenian (also Rhodian, IG12(I).125) festival held in the month Ληαιὠν (i.e. Gamelion) in honour of Dionysus, at which there were dramatic contests, esp. of the Comedic Poets, Ar.Ach.1155 (lyr.).  3. Λἠναιον, τὀ, the Lenaeum, the place at Athens where the Lenaea were held, οὑπἱ Ληναἰῳ ἀγὠν the Lenaeandramatic  contest, opp.; τἁ κατ' αστυ, ib.504, cf. Pl.Prt.327d, Lex ap.D.21.10; Διονὀσια τἁ ἐπἱ ΛηναἰῳSIG1029.0 (iv B.C.)  (L&S p. 1045)

[27] "Hermes, Maia's son, received him near the birthplace hill of Dracanon, and holding him in the crook of his arm flew through the air.  He gave the newborn Lyaios a surname to suit his birth, and called him Dionysos, or Zeus-limp, because Zeus while he carried his burden lifted his foot with a limp from the weight of his thigh, and nysos in the Syracusan language means limping.  So he dubbed Zeus' newly delivered Eiraphiotes, or 'Father Botcher,' because he had sewed up the baby in his breeding thigh."  (ND I Rouse pp. 305-308) 

[28] L&S p. 490, left column.

[29] "For some say, at Dracanum; and some, on windy Icarus; and some, in Naxos, O Heaven-born (δῖον γἐνος), Insewn (εἰραϕιῶτα, Eraphiota)"  (HHH Evelyn-White pp. 286-287)

[30] Source:  L&S p. 689, right column under the heading ἐρἰϕειος  (ἔρῐϕος), of a kid (ed. goat).

[31] A Latin Dictionary (LD)by Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short, 1879; found in the 1955 Clarendon Press edition on p. 1056, right column, definition 3: 

Līberan old Italian deity, who presided over planting and fructification; afterwards identified with the Greek Bacchus.

[32] LD p. 1056, right column, definition 1:  

(one) that acts according to his own will and pleasure, is his own master; free, unrestricted, unrestrained, unimpeded, unshackled; independent, frank, open, bold.

[33] Jupiter Puer = literally Jupiter the boy:  

"The deity who made the greatest contribution to Basque vocabulary is Zagreus-Dionysos who appears in Italy as Jupiter Puer." (Zagreus in Ancient Basque Religion by George W. Elderkin, 1952, Princeton Univ., p.1)

[34] Source: Dionysos: Archetypal Image of Indestructible Life Bollingen Series LXV 2 by Carl Kerényi, 1976, Princeton Univ. Press (Princeton NJ USA), p. 260

[35] "(Zeus speaks) Give ear ye Gods; this one have I made your king." (Orphicorum Fragmenta 208, Rhapsodic Theogony, preserved from Proklos, from Otto Kern's work, found in OGR Guthrie p. 141.)

- For Night (ed. Nyx) receives the sceptre from Phanes;  Heaven (ed. Ouranós) derives from Night, the dominion over wholes; and Bacchus (ed. Diónysos) who is the last king of the Gods receives the kingdom from Jupiter (ed. Zeus). For the father (Jupiter) establishes him in the royal throne, puts into his hand the sceptre, and makes him the king of all the mundane Gods. "Hear me ye Gods, I place over you a king." κλυτε θεοι τον δ' υμμιν βασιλεα τιθημι  (ed. klytæ thæi ton th' immin vasilæa tithini)' "  (Extract from the Manuscript Scolia of Proclus On the Cratylus of Plato, found in The Theology of Plato: Proclus, trans. Thomas Taylor, 1816; Prometheus Trust, 1999, p. 673.)

- "Zeus then, the father, ruled all things, but Bakchos ruled after him." (Orphicorum Fragmenta 218, Rhapsodic Theogony, preserved from Proclus, from Otto Kern's work, OGR Guthrie, p. 141)

 - "By this marriage with the heavenly dragon (ed. Zeus disguised as a serpent), the womb of Persephone swelled with living fruit, and she bore Zagreus the horned baby, who by himself climbed upon the heavenly throne of Zeus and brandished lightning in his little hand, and newly born, lifted and carried thunderbolts in his tender fingers."  (Nonnos' Dionysiaca, VI. 164-168, trans. W.H.D. Rouse in 1940, found on pp. 225-227 of Vol. I of the 1962 edition)
Diónysos speaks: "Grant one grace to me the lover, O Phrygian Zeus!  When I was a little one, Rheia who is still my nurse told me that you gave lightning to Zagreus, the first Dionysos, before he could speak plain---gave him your fiery lance and rattling thunder and showers of rain out of the sky, and he was another Rainy Zeus while yet a babbling baby!"  (Nonnos' Dionysiaca, X.292-299, trans. by W.H.D. Rouse in 1940, found on p. 349, Vol. I of the 1962 edition)
- Deriades, king of the Indians, to his troops: "I have heard how Zeus once gave his throne and the sceptre of Olympos as prerogative to Zagreus the ancient Dionysos---lightning to Zagreus, vine to wineface Bacchos!" (Nonnos' Dionysiakon, XXXIX. 70-73, ND III Rouse p. 129.)
- Addressed to Silenos: "Come, rouse to sacred Joy thy pupil king..." (Orphefs [Orpheus] Hymn 54. To Silenus, Satyrus, and the Priestesses of Bacchus, HO Taylor p.185.)
"...from Proclus, in Tim. p. 191. as follows. 'Orpheus delivers the kings of the Gods, who preside over the universe according to a perfect number; Phanes, Night (ed. Nyx), Heaven (ed. Sky, i.e. Ouranos), Saturn (ed. Kronos), Jupiter (ed. Zeus), Bacchus (ed. Dionysos).  For Phanes is first adorned with a scepter, is the first king, and the celebrated Ericapæus.  But the second king is Night, who receives the sceptre from the father Phanes.  The third is Heaven, invested with government from Night.  The fourth Saturn, the oppressor as they say of his father.  The fifth is Jupiter, the ruler of his father.  And the sixth of these is Bacchus."  (HO Taylor, p. 119; found in a footnote to hymn V. To Protogonus.)
[36] Nónnos (Gr. Νόννος) Dionysiaká (Gr. Διονυσιακά) 7.365-368, trans. W. H. D. Rouse 1940. We are using the Loeb Classical Library edition entitled Nonnos Dionysiaca, the 1962 reprint. Harvard Univ. Press (Cambridge MA) and William Heinemann LTD (London), p. 271. 

The logo to the left is the principal symbol of this website. It is called the CESS logo, i.e. the Children of the Earth and the Starry Sky. The 
Pætilía (Petelia; Gr. Πετηλία) and other golden tablets having this phrase are the inspiration for the symbol. The image represents this idea: Earth (divisible substance) and the Sky (continuous substance) are the two kosmogonic substances. The twelve stars represent the Natural Laws, the dominions of the Olympian Gods. In front of these symbols is the seven-stringed kithára (cithara; Gr. κιθάρα), the lyre of Apóllohn (Apollo; Gr. Ἀπόλλων). It (here) represents the bond between Gods and mortals and is representative that we are the children of Orphéfs (Orpheus; Gr. Ὀρφεύς). 

PLEASE NOTE: Throughout the pages of this website, you will find fascinating stories about our Gods. These narratives are known as mythology, the traditional stories of the Gods and Heroes. While these tales are great mystical vehicles containing transcendent truth, they are symbolic and should not be taken literally. A literal reading will frequently yield an erroneous result. The meaning of the myths is concealed in code. To understand them requires a key. For instance, when a God kills someone, this usually means a transformation of the soul to a higher level. Similarly, sexual union with a God is a transformation.

The story of the birth of the Gods: Orphic Rhapsodic Theogony.
We know the various qualities and characteristics of the Gods based on metaphorical stories: Mythology
Dictionary of terms related to ancient Greek mythology: Glossary of Hellenic Mythology.

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