Dionysos is a Latecomer God Whose Worship is at First Resisted. Why might this be so, and what might be the reasons for his different from other Classical gods?
Dionysos was an Olympian god of vegetation, wine, wild frenzy, pleasure, madness, and festivity. Dionysos was born of Semele, the human princess of Thebes and Zeus (The king of the Gods). At her pregnancy period, Semele was visited by Hera; Zeus’ wife who was jealous of Semele’s relation with her husband. Hera pretended to be Semele old nanny, and persuaded her into challenging Zeus to proof his claim of being Zeus; the King of Gods, by requesting him appear to her in his glory; as he appears to Hera. Semele dis as told and Zeus accepted.Consequently, Semele was destroyed by his power since she could not withstandhis powers. During her death Zeus managed to snatch her unborn premature baby and the child was sewed in Zeus thigh. The baby was born after maturityby Zeus. This sewing gave Dionysos the divinity power despite being born of human mother. Having been born twice; by his mother and later his fatherhe received twice-born nickname (Atsma, 2017).
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After birth, Dionysos was initially entrusted to Seilenos care. He was then given to nymphs of Mount Nysa and eventually to his mother’s sister Ino together with her husband Athamas. He was therefore raised in the midst of humans and was clearly known as a son of Semele (Atsma, 2017). It was therefore hard to convince people that he was a god with divine power, until he was able to proof himself. It was even harder to make people see him as god since even his own cousins could not believe he was a god. One of the biggest resistances of his divinity was experienced from Pentheus, Dionysos cousin and the king of Thebes.
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Moreover Seleme’s sisters who could have played a great role in giving the explanation of Dioysos roots after the death of their sister, did not believe that Seleme, their sister, could have by any chance been god’s mother. In addition, Dionysos went back to Thebes when he was already an adult. This means he was not known among Thebes communities, and thus, it was hard for anyone to believe his birth story or even to imagine that a human could have been able to bore a god (Zww.cn, 2008). His mother was mortal something that was rear among gods. He could only be recognized as a human priest due to unusual abilities he possessed.
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Dionysos was recognized later since he was able to demonstrate his ability as a define god in the long-run. Other classical gods were recognized as Olympian gods from birth since their origin was well known. Moreover, they were all born of immortal mothers and hence it was not hard to proof that they were gods. However, Dioysos case was different, and with questionable roots and connection with divinity, Dioysos was forced to use crude methods to show his powers. He punished his disbelieving relatives by turning Theban women mad. He also made his cousin Pentheus to be torn into pieces by his aunts and his own mothers for thinking that Dioysos was a mountain lion. By doing so, he was able to prove both his divinity and power. Dioysos therefore was recognized late compared to his half-siblings who were recognized as gods mostly after birth (Zww.cn, 2008). His worship could mostly have started after he proved his divinity and power. Thus, he was only worship as a god after attaining adulthood.
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