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01287--Dionysos in Greek Mythology



Dionysos is the god of wine, mysteries, and the theatre.  His symbols are grape vine, ivy, thyrsos and panther.  Dionysos is an unusual Greek deity. While the Olympian gods are dazzling beings of sunlight, Dionysos is a creature of secrecy, his very essence an enigma as his realm is shadowy, and his followers flirt with madness, drunkenness, and death. He is the patron deity of the Maenads (or Bacchantes), those wild women who roamed the high peaks shouting "evoi, evoi" and were said to tear living animals apart in their trance of divine possession. Dionysos brings wine, but also an intoxication that merges the drinker with the deity. His connection with a certain type of cult activity, known as a "mystery", separates him from his fellow Olympians. 

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