Dionysus(redirected from Dionysiac cult)
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See M. Nilsson, The Dionysiac Mysteries of the Hellenistic and Roman Age (1975).
in ancient Greek mythology, the son of Zeus and the Theban princess Semele.
The cult of Dionysus—a vegetation or zoomorphic deity— which had existed in Greece as far back as the Minoan-Mycenean epoch, became widespread from the eighth through the sixth centuries B.C. among the rural people (demos}, who revered Dionysus primarily as the protector of viticulture and wine-making. During the classical period the cult of Dionysus enjoyed particular popularity in Delphi (along with the cult of Apollo) and Athens. The other name for Dionysus is Bacchus, from which the name of the festivals in honor of this god—the bacchanalia—is derived.
REFERENCESJeanmaire, H. Dionysos. Histoire du culte de Bacchus. Paris, 1951.
Otto, W. F. Dionysos. Mythos und Kultus, 3rd ed. Frankfurt am Main, 1960.