Bacchus: A Biography

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Getty Publications, 2004 - Fiction - 166 pages
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This is the life story of the wine god Bacchus-seducer, magician, and merrymaker-as never told before. Tales of his bizarre birth from a womb fashioned in his father Zeus's thigh led to even stranger stories, passed down through generations of dramatists, poets, storytellers, and historians. Bacchus is best remembered, however, for his gift of wine to humanity. With it he brought not only pleasure but also savagery and death. Pentheus, for example, was torn apart at the hands of his own mother and her fellow Maenads in the midst of a Bacchic frenzy.
In this highly enjoyable biography, Andrew Dalby weaves together these and other intriguing episodes from Bacchus's life-from his youth spent on Mount Nysa among nymphs and satyrs to his relentless pursuit by the goddess Hera to Bacchus's many amorous exploits-bringing the wild and powerful wine god to life.
 

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Contents

Zeus and Semele
19
The Childhood of Bacchus
34
The Adolescence of Bacchus
51
Arabia and India
65
The Pleasures of Wine
81
Ariadne on Naxos
92
The Last Olympian
104
Aftereffects
132
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About the author (2004)


Andrew Dalby, an ancient historian by training, writes on the history of food and the history of languages. His books include Language in Danger, Dangerous Tastes: The Story of Spices, and Empire of Pleasures: Luxury and Indulgence in the Roman World.

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