Semele is most often said to have been a priestess in the temple of Zeus in her father’s city. Species Rather than resort to violence, however, the goddess used trickery to punish the girl.   Deity, "Stimula" redirects here. Arcadas esse, Although Dionysus is called the son of Zeus (see, Or in the guise of Semele's nurse, Beroë, in. Here’s how the story goes: Semele was the Princess of Thebes. Contents[show] Myth Love with Zeus Zeus, the king of Olympus, fell in love with Semele, a daughter of Harmonia. This story separates Semele from the usual archetype of Zeus’s young mistresses. No widgets added. She was even more enraged when she learned that Semele was carrying her husband’s child. Oaths sworn by the River Styx were considered unbreakable. Semele (/ˈsɛmɪli/; Greek: Σεμέλη Semelē), in Greek mythology, was the youngest daughter of the Phoenician hero Cadmus and Harmonia, and the mother[1] of Dionysus by Zeus in one of his many origin myths. Hiding her divinity, Saturn’s daughter cleverly Handel's work, based on Congreve's libretto but with additions, while an opera to its marrow, was originally given as an oratorio so that it could be performed in a Lenten concert series; it premiered on February 10, 1744. Dionysus/Bacchus/Liber lore olympus lo dionysus lo semele. As a result of this Dionysus "was also called Dimetor [of two mothers]... because the two Dionysoi were born of one father, but of two mothers"[17], Still another variant of the narrative is found in Callimachus[18] and the 5th century CE Greek writer Nonnus. Hera then convinces Semele to ask Zeus to come to her as a god, and on doing so she dies, and Zeus seals the unborn baby up in his thigh. Take your favorite fandoms with you and never miss a beat. Rather than being another in a long line of mistresses, Semele was to them an active participant in the resurrection of a major god. Location According to their stories, Zeus had seduced Persephone in the form of a snake and she had given birth to a son. Over time, they grew closer and Semele confided in Hera about her affair and the child she shared with Zeus. For the genus of grass skipper butterflies, see. In some versions, Hera sends a group of Titans to find Dionysus and rip him in to tiny pieces and when that didn't work she drives him to madness (He got better). Zeus's vengeful wife Hera soon found out about the affair when she saw that Semele was pregnant. Religious beliefs and myths associated with Dionysus were successfully adapted and remained pervasive in Roman culture, as evidenced for instance by the Dionysian scenes of Roman wall painting[31] and on sarcophagi from the 1st to the 4th centuries AD. The first major change to Semele’s character came in the form of the Orphic mystery cults. In the 18th century, the story of Semele formed the basis for three operas of the same name, the first by John Eccles (1707, to a libretto by William Congreve), another by Marin Marais (1709), and a third by George Frideric Handel (1742). Semele, in Greek mythology, was the youngest daughter of the Phoenician hero Cadmus and Harmonia, and the mother of Dionysus by Zeus in one of his many origin myths. Herodotus, who gives the account of Cadmus, estimates that Semele lived 1,600 years before his time, or around 2000 BC. [27] In his poem on the Roman calendar, Ovid (d. 17 CE) identifies this goddess with Semele: "There was a grove: known either as Semele’s or Stimula’s: After slaughtering a bull as a sacrifice, she was seen by Zeus as she bathed in the river to wash the animal’s blood off of herself. Nonnus classifies Zeus's affair with Semele as one in a set of twelve, the other eleven women on whom he begot children being Io, Europa, Plouto, Danaë, Aigina, Antiope, Leda, Dia, Alcmene, Laodameia, the mother of Sarpedon, and Olympias. General Information However, in some cases Semele remains as a shade in Hades' realm. Dionysus was born for a second time and welcomed into the pantheon. Zeus, the king of Olympus, fell in love with Semele, a daughter of Harmonia. Bronze and Brown The god of wine was sometimes referred to as the twice-born for having been taken from his mother’s body and put into his father’s until he reached full term. [16] And that Evander was the king of the place. In the Hellenistic period, however, a more mainstream belief would see Semele get a happier ending. Through both the unusual beliefs of the mystery cults and a progressively more optimistic view of the afterlife, Semele was given both more authority in her story and the chance to join her grown son on Olympus. Dionysus was raised at first by Semele's sister and brother-in-law, Ino and Athamus, and then was later taken by Hermes to the nymphs of Nysa, the loveliest of earth's valleys that no man can find or has ever seen. Dionysus was raised by his aunt and uncle (Semele’s sister and her husband) and later on by nymphs. With Zeus’ permission and help, he journeyed to the Underworld and had his mother released. Zeus was able to save her child, though, and carried the baby in his own thigh until he was ready to be born. Her conceived child Dionysus, however, survived Zeus's presence because he was half-god himself. Augustine notes that the goddess is named after stimulae, "goads, whips," by means of which a person is driven to excessive actions. Please like and share this article if you found it useful. Zeus tried to dissuade her, but Semele was adamant. Spotted by Zeus, the amorous king of the gods made her his mistress. Throughout most of Greek history, the underworld had been considered to be a universally dismal place. Semele, a mortal woman and daughter of the great Phoenician hero Cadmus who later became king of Thebes, had through her great beauty attracted the attention of the great sky-god Zeus himself. Zeus fell madly in love with Semele and slept with her in secret. In most versions of Greek mythology, Semele was the mother of Dionysus. Jewish Symbols – History, Meaning and Importance, Star of David Symbol – Origins and Meanings, Celtic Shield Knot – History and Symbolism, Endless Knot – Meaning, Symbolism and History. Bound by a sacred oath, the king of the gods had no choice but to grant her request. He quickly took the fetal child and sewed him into his own thigh until it was time for his birth. She is thrilled when he comes to her party and appears to relish the special treatment she receives from him, although Zeus seems to view her as just another casual dalliance. She is best known for her role as the mother of Dionysus, the Olympian god of wine and merriment. Reblog. As Symbol Sage editors, we write about things that we love and we think you'll like too. [12], Zeus rescued the fetal Dionysus, however, by sewing him into his thigh (whence the epithet Eiraphiotes, "insewn", of the Homeric Hymn). Zeus/Jupiter We have affiliate partnerships and sponsorship and may generate some revenue from these at no cost to you. Mortal Realm When Hera learned that the Theban priestess was carrying Zeus’s baby, she came up with a scheme to destroy both mother and child. The cults often had different versions of major myths than the mainstream religion, with a focus on learning the secrets of death. Semele was a Phoenician princess and one of the many mortal lovers of Zeus. Although there aren’t many myths about Semele, her role as Dionysus’ mother and the intriguing way in which she died and then ascended to Olympus as an immortal or even a goddess makes her one of the most interesting of character in Greek mythology. Semele is known in Greek mythology because of her extraordinary death and the way she became immortal. He came down to earth and she became pregnant with his child. The Greek cult of Dionysus had flourished among the Etruscans in the archaic period, and had been made compatible with Etruscan religious beliefs. Semele is Zeus' current mortal fling. Although Zeus tried to spare her, he was not able to conceal his nature enough to keep Semele safe. Zeus, Poseidon and Hades go into the Mortal Realm. Over time, however, the Greeks began to believe that those who lived exceptionally good lives would be rewarded with a more pleasant experience. Zeus was distraught, and while he couldn’t save Semele, he managed to save Semele’s unborn child. Semele was the goddess of the inspired frenzy. [9], In one version of the myth, Semele was a priestess of Zeus, and on one occasion was observed by Zeus as she slaughtered a bull at his altar and afterwards swam in the river Asopus to cleanse herself of the blood. Zeus, eager to please his beloved, promised on the River Styx to grant her anything she wanted. Semele coyly asked the god if he would grant her a favor. Semele fulfilled this, specifying the request in an unidentified form, and Zeus swore by the River Styx that anything she asked of him he would do. When Hera noticed that her husband was once again tempted by his carnal desires and was going to cheat on her, she decided to take action by inflicting her wrath on Semele. While Heracles was allowed to ascend directly after his death, however, Semele had been taken to the underworld as a mortal. The Orphic mysteries may have been influenced by the Egyptian myth of Osirus. After a few months, Zeus opened his leg and gave birth to Dionysus. Hera disguised herself as an old woman and went to Thebes. Semele became one of these demi-gods when her son went to the underworld himself to bring her out and take her to his home among the gods. [29] The goddess's grove was the site of the Dionysian scandal[30] that led to official attempts to suppress the cult. Mortal Because of this conception, this is why Dionysus is called the "twice-born"; he was conceived and released from his mother's stomach, and then again on his father's thigh.

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