Demeter and Dionysus it seems ~ a good place come start as soon as thinking around the story of gods and goddesses because they represent bread and wine.  Both space gods of the earth, not quite so unpredictable as the immortal god of Olympus whose capriciousness wasn't constantly in the best interest that humans.

You are watching: Demeter and dionysus

Demeter (in Latin Ceres) is the Goddess that the Corn older than her counterpart Dionysus (also known as Bacchus).  due to the fact that men visited war and also women toiled in the fields it was only natural for the ancients to develop a goddess to represent the corn harvest.  Her holy place was in a little town near Athens referred to as Eleusis, where a good festival would take ar every 5 years.  It to be a spiritual festival, however, and also the ceremony that would happen in the holy place was surrounded in secrecy together those that took part in it weren't allowed to speak that it.

The Greeks would have actually worshipped Demeter; the consciousness was known as the Eleusinian Mysteries.  The Roman, Cicero, wrote about them.

"Nothing is greater than this mysteries.  They have actually sweetened our characters and softened ours customs; they have made us pass indigenous the condition of savages to true humanity.  They have actually not only shown us the way to live joyfully, but they have taught us how to die through a better hope."

Although for thousands of years the Eleusinian Mysteries to be of great importance to men, with time they waned and died out, no doubt because of the secrecy in i m sorry they to be shrouded and also the festival of Dionysus would come to the fore.

Being god of the planet they didn't gain the close to perfect happy-go-lucky existence that the Olympian god did.  their lives, choose those the the Greeks were filled with their share of pain and also suffering.  keeping in mind the the old Greeks developed these myths to describe nature, when the god may have reveled during the cultivation season and particularly during the harvest, the seasons readjust and darkness falls.  The ancients came up through stories to explain what happens with the changing of the season.  now I'm obtaining to the good stuff--the stories themselves.

The legend of Demeter is one i have constantly remembered.  Edith Hamilton writes that the story is told only in a an extremely early poem, among the Homeric Hymns date from the eighth or start of the seventh century.  Demeter had an only daughter named Persephone who was taken away by Hades to the underworld.  actors into grief she allowed the world to turn into a frozen, barren desert.  Demeter satellite in her holy place on earth, not returning to Olympus.  finally Zeus had to action in and made his brother, Hades, relinquish Persephone yet not before Hades made her eat a pomegranate seed.  This ensured the she would return to him for at least component of the year.  for this reason the factor we have winter every year--Persephone has actually returned to she husband Hades in the underworld. 

Dionysus is an altogether different kettle the fish.  Unsurprisingly for the god the the vine (and wine) he has actually both a good and negative side come him.  that is the only god who does not have actually two divine parents.  Zeus to be his father and also a Theban princess called Semele his mother.  when again Hera was provoked through Zeus's infidelity and caused a fairly unfortunate finishing for Semele, however not before Zeus controlled to snatch Dionysus away.  Hamilton shares a couple of stories around him, which ns think ns won't recount here for fear of letting my short article run on also long, however there space a couple of notable things about Dionysus that room worth knowing.

Dionysus to be a god man worshipped and who could carry to them either "freedom and also ecstatic delight or savage brutality.  throughout the story that his life that is sometimes man's blessing, occasionally his ruin." That probably sums increase pretty tidily just just how wine affect man.  therefore Dionysus have the right to either raise guy to happy heights or ruin him.  because of Dionysus's capacity to be one of two people within guy or exterior of him, it carried on a new method of thinking.  male could end up being divine--"be own by a power greater than themselves" many thanks to the god Dionysus.  no a insurance claim the other gods might make.

See more: What Is The Ultimate Source Of All Variation? ? What Is Genetic Variation

"It is not well-known when the an excellent change take it place, lifting the god who freed them with inspiration, yet one very remarkable result of that made Dionysus for every future eras the most vital of the god in Greece."

The festival the Dionysus became really important.  the took ar in spring as soon as the vine began to bloom when again.  it sounds choose it was a quite raucous time.  not only can people  not be placed in prison yet some prisoner were let out to take part in the celebrations.  The celebrations didn't take location in a holy place or the wild wilderness, however.

"It to be a theater; and the ceremony to be the performance of a play.  The biggest poetry in greece and among the greatest in the world, was written for Dionysus.  The poets who wrote the plays, the actors and singers who took part in them, to be all pertained to as servants that the god.  The performances to be sacred; the spectators, too, together with the writers and also the performers, were engaged in an plot of worship.  Dionysus self was supposed to be present; his priest had actually the chair of honor."

There to be one more aspect the Dionysus--along with being an ideas for males (good and also bad), there to be an assurance v him for male that death was no the end.  His worshippers believed that the soul stays on forever, due to the fact that he himself not only passed away (Hera's orders as soon as again), but was brought earlier to life.  I uncover this all really interesting.  even though Hamilton notes the the stories about the gods were just that and that the gods were no their religion, they still venerated them and built temples and had festivals, for this reason I'm curious what the delineation was.  Mankind always likes gift able to describe the world and what happens after death, and their worship of Dionysus sound a lot prefer religion come me.