DionysusDionysus and Dionysos or Dionysius (Ancient Greek: Διώνυσος or Διόνυσος; also known as Bacchus in both Greek and Roman mythology and associated with the Italic Liber), the Thracian god of wine, represents not only the intoxicating power of wine, but also its social and beneficial influences. He is viewed as the promoter of civilization, a lawgiver, and lover of peace — as well as the patron deity of agriculture and the theater. He was also known as the Liberator (Eleutherios), freeing one from one's normal self, by madness, ecstasy, or wine. The divine mission of Dionysus was to mingle the music of the flute and to bring an end to care and worry. There is also an aspect of Dionysus on his relationship to the "cult of the souls", and the scholar Xavier Riu writes that Dionysus presided over communication between the living and the dead.
Within Greek mythology Dionysus is made to be the son of Zeus and Semele; other versions of the story contend that he is the son of Zeus and Persephone.
The name Dionysus is of uncertain significance; it may well be non-Greek in origin, but it has been associated since antiquity with Zeus (genitive Dios) and with Nysa, which is either the nymph who nursed him, or the mountain where he was attended by several nymphs who fed him and made him immortal as directed by Hermes; or both.