Quotes from Diodorus of Sicily are from The Libarary of History, Loeb Classical Library, Harvard University Press, translation C.H. Oldfather, 1935.
52. Τριετηρικοῦ, θυμίαμα ἀρώματα.
To the Triennial Festival of Bacchos
Divine connection: aromatics
Κικλήσκω σε, μάκαρ, πολυώνυμε, μανικέ, Βακχεῦ,
I call the blessed, many-named, manic Bacchos
ταυρόκερως, ληναῖε, πυρίσπορε, Νύσιε, λυσεῦ,
Bull-horned God of the wine-press, fire-seeded Nysian, released and then
μηροτρεφής, λικνῖτα, πυριπόλε καὶ τελετάρχα,
Thigh-nurtured, cradle assaulted with fire, foundation of holy rites,
νυκτέρι', Εὐβουλεῦ, μιτρηφόρε, θυρσοτινάκτα,
Night-loving Good Counselor, mitra-wearing, thyrsos-shaking,
ὄργιον ἄρρητον, τριφυές, κρύφιον Διὸς ἔρνος,
Whose mysteries are not to be spoken of. Tri-natured, hidden, Dios’ sprout,
πρωτόγον', Ἠρικεπαῖε, θεῶν πάτερ ἠδὲ καὶ υἱέ,
Firstborn, heralded father and son of Goddesses and Gods,
ὠμάδιε, σκηπτοῦχε, χοροιμανές, ἁγέτα κώμων,
Youthful scepter-bearer, leader of the revelling manic chorus,
βακχεύων ἁγίας τριετηρίδας ἀμφὶ γαληνάς,
Bacchian of the holy tri-annual surrounding peace,
ῥηξίχθων, πυριφεγγές, ἐπάφριε, κοῦρε διμάτωρ,
Rending the earth, fiery, frothy, son of two mothers,
οὐρεσιφοῖτα, κερώς, νεβριδοστόλε, ἀμφιέτηρε,
Horned, mountian-roaming and fawnskin-robed throughout the year,
Παιὰν χρυσεγχής, ὑποκόλπιε, βοτρυόκοσμε,
All-heralded golden spear ‘neath folds of grape-clusters,
Βάσσαρε, κισσοχαρής, πολυπάρθενε καὶ διάκοσμε
Delighting in the world of fox- and ivy-clad maidens,
ἐλθέ, μάκαρ, μύσταισι βρύων κεχαρημένος αἰεί.
Come, with blessings, to mystae full to bursting, eternally rejoicing.
 Diodorus of Sicily (4.4.7) says of Dionysos that “Many epithets, so we are informed, have been given him…he has been called Baccheius from the Bacchic bands of women who accompanied him, Lenaeus from the custom of treading the clusters of grapes in a wine-tub (lenos), and Bromius from the thunder (bromos) which attended his birth; likewise for a similar reason he has been called Pyrigenes (“Born-of-Fire”). Thriambus is a name that has been given him, they say, because he was the first of those of whom we have a record to have celebrated a triumph (thriambos) upon entering his native land after his campaign, this having been done when he returned from India with great booty…”
 In the classic sense, “manic” means to become a medium (μ) of the divinity, in this case Bacchos, the immortal God of wine and its effects.
 Diodorus of Sicily (4.4.2) states that Dionysos “was the first to attempt the yoking of oxen and by their aid to effect the sowing of the seed, this being the reason why they also represent him as wearing a horn."
 The Lenaea is a festival of Bacchos held in the month of Lenaion (January) to celebrate the pressing of the grapes, lenaie (ληναῖε). The festival included dramatic contests where a goat (tragos) was sacrificed, hence the term “tragedy.”
“The poet who wished his (sic?) play to be brought out at the Lenaea applied to the second archon, who had the superintendence of this festival as well as the Anthesteria [February]…and who gave him (sic?) the chorus if the piece was thought to deserve it.” Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, p.364, William Smith, Harper & Bros, New York, 1843.
 Bacchos is fire-seeded because Zeus’ lightning incinerated Bacchos’ mortal mother, Semele, while she was pregnant. Zeus sewed the fetal Dionysos into his thigh to complete gestation.
In Nonnos’ Dionysiaca 7.136, Semele has a prophetic dream regarding the birth of Dionysos:
“She had brushed away from her eyes the oblivious wing of sleep, and sent her mind wandering after the image of a dream with riddling oracles. She thought she saw in a garden a tree with fair green leaves, laden with newgrown clusters of swelling fruit yet unripe, and drenched in the fostering dews of Zeus. Suddenly a flame fell through the air from heaven, and laid the whole tree flat, but did not touch its fruit; then a bird flying with outspread wings caught up the fruit half-grown, and carried it yet lacking full maturity to Cronion. The Father received it in his kindly bosom, and sewed it up in his thigh; then instead of the fruit, a bull-shaped horned figure of a man came forth complete over his loins. Semele was the tree!
“The girl leapt from her couch trembling, and told her father the terrifying tale of leafy dreams and fiery blast.”
As Jane Ellen Harrison writes in Themis (p. 91), “In Greece a place that was struck by lighning became an ἄβατον [abaton], a spot not to be trodden on, unapproachable. On the Acropolis at Thebes were to be seen, Pausanias [IX.12.3] tells us, the bridal chambers of… Semele—and even to his day, Pausanias adds, no one was allowed to set foot in the chamber of Semele.”
In Euripides Bacchae 238-241 (translation Herbert M. Howe in Classical Myth by Barry B. Powell, Prentice Hall, New Jersey 2001, p. 261.), Pentheus doubts Semele’s story of giving birth to Dionysos by Zeus, saying:
“‘That fellow, they call him Dionysus?
That’s the one Zeus once sewed up in his thigh?
The one who was vaporized by thunderbolts
Along with his mother, self-styled “bride of Zeus”’?”
It is interesting to note that in Oregon, a mountainous state in the U.S., grapes grow more prosperously after mild fires, suggesting that perhaps the Dionysos fire legend reflects agricultural practices:
"The percent cover of Oregon-grape was greater after prescribed spring and fall fires in 1973 compared to a control site on the Bridger-Teton National Forest, Wyoming ."
When lightning strikes a row of grape vines, re-growth will begin at the base of the vine. This is a type of “natural” pruning. Pruning grape vines results in a better yield. (p. 22 What is Killing my Vines? Plant Failure in New Vineyards, Bill Cline, Plant Pathology Department North Carolina State University Horticultural Crops Research Station Castle Hayne, NC)
Diodorus of Sicily (3.62.10) offers an alternative explanation for the myth, saying that the tradition that Dionysos “was born twice of Zeus arises from the belief that these fruits also perished in common with all other plants in the flood at the time of Deucalion, and that when they sprang up again after the Deluge…the myth was created that the [G]od had been born again from the thigh of Zeus.”
 Nysia is the name of several mountains sacred to Dionysos/Bacchos. The word means “turning-point,” “starting point,” or “finishing-post,” consistent with Bacchos as a God of transitions and his transformative effect in producing enthusiasm (ἐνθουσιασμός, God within) and ecstasy (ἔκστᾰσις, standing outside of oneself).
 It is interesting to note that the word “μηρο” not only means “thigh” but also means “that which is drawn out,” so that μηρο may pertain to the crushing of the grapes to draw out their juices and the “Zeus’ thigh” legend is a play on words.
 The liknite is a broad basket used for threshing grains and also as a cradle. “Threshing (ἀλοάω)” is the process by which grains are tossed into the air to blow away the “chaff (ἄχῠρον).”
 Both infants Dionysos and Demophon (Homeric Hymn to Demeter) were subjected to fire.
 A mitra is either a type of girdle worn in battle or a ceremonial head-dress worn as a badge of rank at the Ptolemaic court and by the victor at the games.
Diodorus of Sicily (4.4.4) says that “in order to ward off the headaches which every man (sic) gets from drinking too much wine he bound about his head, they report, a band (mitra), which was the reason for his receiving the name Mitrephorus; and it was this head-band, they say, that in later times led to the introduction of the diadem for kings.”
 A thyrsos is a pinecone-tipped, ivy-twined staff carried by Bacchos and his devotees.
 Orgia means rites, sacrifices, mysteries.
 Diodorus (3.63.3--3.64.3 relates the following beliefs pertaining to Dionysos, as though “Dionysos” was the name of three separate deified men:
“The most ancient Dionysus was an Indian, and since his country, because of the excellent climate, produced the vine in abundance without cultivation, he was the first to press out the clusters of grapes and to devise the use of wine…(and) whatever pertains to the harvesting and storing of these fruits…Now this Dionysus visited with an army all the inhabited world and gave instruction both as to the culture of the vine and the crushing of the clusters in the wine vats (lenoi), which is the reason why the [G]od was called Lenaeus…
“The second Dionysus…was born to Zeus by Persephone, though some say it was Demeter. He is represented by them as the first man to have yoked oxen to the plough, human beings before that time having prepared the ground by hand…And as a special symbol and token the painters and sculptors represented him with horns…showing forth the magnitude of the service which he had devised for the farmers by his invention of the plough.
“The third Dionysus, they say, was born in Boeotian Thebes of Zeus and Semele, the daughter of Cadmus.”
 Bacchos was raised in secret to protect him from the fury of Zeus’ wife, Hera, the Goddess of air and wind.
 “Dios” is a generic term for divine power, used to pertain to Goddesses, Gods, and nobility. It is very often reflexively, and not necessarily accurately, translated as “Zeus.”
 Dionysos is the father of:
- Priapos (Πριαπος, God of agricultural fertility) (Pausanias 9.31.2; Diodorus of Sicily 4.6.1; Strabo 8.587; Scholiast on Theocritus 1.21)
- Iacchos (Ιακχος, Bacchanalian torch-bearing God of the Eleusinian Mysteries of Demeter) (Nonnos Dionysiaca 16.392 & 48.887; Orphic Hymn 57)
- The Charites (Χαριτες, Goddesses of beauty, festivity, and unearned blessings) (Nonnos Dionysiaca 15.87, 48.53; The Anacreontea Frag. 38)
 Dionysos is generally believed to be the son of Zeus and Semele.
 Dionysos’ followers (most often depicted as female) become ecstatic as they become one with the God of wine, singing and dancing and losing inhibitions. The prolific depictions of Bacchian “maenads” in art bely the purported life of secluded Greek women (as do the tales of Artemis and her band of female hunters as well as the widespread role of women as priestesses and Olympian judges.)
Diodorus of Sicily (4.2.3) reports that “in many Greek cities every other year Bacchic bands of women gather, and it is lawful for the maidens to carry the thyrsus and to join in the frenzied revelry, crying out ‘Euai!’ and honouring the [G]od; while the matrons, forming in groups, offer sacrifices to the [G]od and celebrate his mysteries and, in general, extol with hymns the presence of Dionysus, in this manner acting the part of the Maenads who, as history records, were of old the companions of the [G]od.”
 Cease-fires were declared during important festivals.
 Bacchos’ two mothers may be Semele and Zeus (gestated in his thigh); or Semele and Persephone (Diodorus of Sicily 4.4.1, Nonnos Dionysiaca 6.155
 Diodorus of Sicily (4.4.3-4) says that “on his [Dionysos’] campaigns he led about with himself a multitude of women who were armed with lances which were shaped like thyrsus…when he went abroad he was accompanied by the Muses, who were maidens that had received an unusually excellent education…”
 Mystae are initiates in the Mysteries.