There are conflicting accounts of his genealogy and conception. The Gods involved were probably too drunk at the time to remember. But although ZEUS may have had a one-night stand with PERSEPHONE, we plump for ZEUS and SEMELE — on the assumption there is no smoke without fire.
Why else would HERA, the jealous wife of ZEUS, arrange SEMELE’s death by insisting he appear before her in all his robes of radiant glory? It was too much for SEMELE who sizzled away to a cinder, leaving an unborn baby to bounce around in a Godly game of ‘pass the parcel’.
The bouncing baby got slipped to ZEUS who, full of remorse and guilt, popped it into his thigh. Gods are way ahead of any modern surgery. When it was born he called it DIONYSUS. HERA called it something else and sent some babysitting TITANS to tear the baby to bits and eat it.
HERA discovered the plot, turned DIONYSUS into a ram and gave him as a plaything to a band of nymphs. If you think you have troubles, consider being born twice with a dadly birth, not knowing what sex you are, and then suddenly finding you have four legs, horns and an undetachable woolly coat.
DIONYSUS had many wild and woolly adventures until his Godly status became apparent. He put in for a God grant and was given a more befitting body — and a tutor.
The tutor turned out to be a fat boozy, bald old buffer called SILENUS. They got on very well together, and under tuition DIONYSUS made two exciting discoveries. 1) How to make wine. 2) How to make orgasms which could drive you to the brink of madness.
These new ideas brought him an enormous cult following of wild young females (the MAENADS), not to mention his ever-attendant nymphomaniac NYMPHS. DIONYSUS was a real whiz with women, and set up a special 18-30s Club for them on Mount Cithaeron. At some point he got involved with a Cretan princess named ARIADNE, but they drifted apart when she turned into a constellation.
The next few years were spent in hard drinking, and driving excited females into a frenzy. This drinking and driving got him into a lot of trouble with the authorities. News on the grapevine warned of police raids and arrests, and even DIONYSUS realized it was time to stagger off to start afresh.
With the Bacchae Backup Band recruiting the gang from his former Mad MAENADS, he made a big attempt to be more user-friendly. The orgy-making was a popular as ever, but by now, with all the debauchery and gluttony, DIONYSUS was starting to look more like the middle-aged and balding boozer SILENUS.