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Bronze statue of Bacchus from Pompeii, 2nd century BC

Bacchus was the Roman god of agriculture, wine and fertility, equivalent to the Greek god Dionysus. He is often seen with vines of grapes with him. Dionysus was said to be the last god to join the twelve Olympians. Supposedly, Hestia gave up her seat for him. His plants were vines and twirling ivy. He carried a pine cone-topped staff, and his followers were goat-footed Satyrs and Maenads, wild women who danced energetically during his festivals. Bacchus is the son of Jupiter.

Mythical history[change | change source]

Bacchus was the child of Jupiter and Semélé, a human whom Juno had tricked into asking to see Jupiter as he really was. Since she was a mortal, she was burned up by the sight of Jupiter in his divine form. So Jupiter sewed the infant Bacchus into his thigh, and gave birth to him nine months later. As a child, Bacchus was tutored by Silenus, who was a great lover of wine and often had to be carried on the back of a donkey. Before he took his place at Olympus, Bacchus wandered the world for many years, going as far as India to teach people how to grow wines.

Further reading[change | change source]

  • Mythology by Lady Hestia Evans, published by Candlewick Press.

Related pages[change | change source]