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The birth and upbringing of Dionysus

Zeus-the thunderer loved the beautiful Semelu, daughter of the Theban king Cadmus. Once he promised her to fulfill any of her requests, no matter what it was, and swore to her this by the inviolable oath of the gods, the sacred waters of the underground river Styx. But the great goddess hated Semele Hera and wanted to ruin her. She told Semele:

Hermes with Dionysus
Hermes with Dionysus

- Ask Zeus to appear to you in all the majesty of the thunder god, the king of Olympus. If he really loves you, he will not refuse this request.

Semele convinced Hera, and she asked Zeus to fulfill this particular request. Zeus could not refuse Semele anything, because he swore by the waters of Styx. The Thunderer appeared to her in all the majesty of the king of gods and men, in all the splendor of his glory. Bright lightning flashed in the hands of Zeus; thunderclaps shook the palace of Cadmus. The lightning of Zeus flashed all around. The fire engulfed the palace, everything around wavered and collapsed. Semele fell to the ground in horror, the flames burned her. She saw that there was no salvation for her, that her request inspired by the Hero had ruined her.

And the dying Semele's son was born Dionysus, a weak, unable to live child. It seemed that he, too, was doomed to perish in the fire. But how could the son of the great Zeus have perished? Thick green ivy grew out of the ground from all sides, as if by magic. He covered the unfortunate child from the fire with his greenery and saved him from death.

Strong with the little god Dionysus in his arms
Strong with the little god Dionysus in his arms

Zeus took the rescued son, and since he was still so small and weak that he could not live, Zeus sewed him into his thigh. In the body of his father, Zeus, Dionysus grew stronger, and, having grown stronger, was born for the second time from the thigh of the thunderer Zeus. Then the king of gods and men called his son, the swift messenger of the gods, Hermes, and told him to take little Dionysus to Semele's sister, Ino, and her husband Ataman, king Orchomena, they had to educate him.

The goddess Hera was angry at Ino and Atamant for taking the son of the hated Semele to raise, and decided to punish them. She sent madness to the Atamant. In a fit of madness, the Atamant killed his son Learkh. She barely managed to escape Eno's death with another son, Melikert. Her husband chased after her and was already catching up with her. Ahead is a steep, rocky seashore, the sea is roaring below, a mad husband is catching up behind - Eno has no salvation. In desperation, she threw herself and her son into the sea from the coastal rocks. Eno and Melikert were taken into the sea by the Nereids. The teacher of Dionysus and her son were converted into sea deities and they have been living in the depths of the sea ever since.

Dionysus was saved from the mad Atamant by Hermes. He transferred him in the blink of an eye to the Nisei Valley and gave him to the nymphs to be raised there. Dionysus grew up to be a beautiful, powerful god of wine, a god who gives people strength and joy, a god who gives fertility. The teachers of Dionysus, nymphs, were taken by Zeus as a reward to heaven, and they shine on a dark starry night, called Hyades, among other constellations.