The Story of Bacchus

The Story of Bacchus

The Story of Bacchus

9780714122557

Thames and Hudson Ltd

    Andrew Dalby

    25-Apr-2005

    Paperback with flaps

S$35.00

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This, the first in a series of 'biographies' of famous gods and goddesses from The British Museum is ideal reading for all who enjoy popular biography and travel writing and tells the story of the god Bacchus, also known as Dionysus. It begins on the banks of the River Asopos at Thebes, where Zeus, all-seeing king of the gods, caught sight of the beautiful mortal Semele. The baby Bacchus was the result of their brief affair, delivered, it is said, from a womb fashioned in his father's thigh and with tiny horns protruding from his head. Thus a strange beginning was to lead to even stranger tales, passed down through generations of dramatists, poets, story-tellers and historians to become today mere myths from a long-ago world. Pieced together here, they tell of Bacchus's youth spent on Mount Nysa among the nymphs and Satyrs; of his relentless pursuit by the anger of the goddess Hera; of his victory over India while still a mortal; and of his many love affairs, most famously with Ariadne. But Bacchus is best remembered for his gift to humanity of wine. With it he brought pleasure, but also savagery and death. With many intriguing episodes drawn from an astonishing range of sources - including obscure and fragmentary records detailing the songs chanted by initiates at secret rites - this biography brings the strangely powerful wine-god to life as never before.

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