“from the Greek word Apologia, meaning explanation or defense. Not to be confused with apologizing.”

Again, I am happily overwhelmed.

I wanted to do a post on the festivals of the Ancient Greeks that were dedicated to Dionysus, the God of wine, mystery and ecstasy. I was going to talk about how important the festivals were to the evolution of wine culture in Greece and breakdown the different festivals and their crazy rituals to get an understanding of how deep wine was embedded into their lives.

In doing this I started researching the God himself and by the time I had finished taking notes I realized that I am really obsessed with Dionysus and his origins. Not just in myth but in reality. I found that his cult had been around since the Minoans and that he was a sort of Johnny-come-lately deity to Athens via rural cults celebrating him in the vineyards outside the big city.

But what is even more intriguing and mysterious and a bit weird in an awesome sense is the unique associations he has to woodland creatures primarily big cats such as leopards and panthers but also the serpent, the bull and the ivy; all potential agents of danger. This shines a whole new light on the God with the grapes in his hair.

The story is so cool that I feel I need to write about it.

I want to get to know this God and the people that worshiped him. Where did he come from and, in myth, how did he come to pass?

Once I understand the God then I may have a better understanding of the festivals which will lead me to a better understanding of the importance of wine in Greek culture which will lead me to the next chapter in their history which gets a bit dark and depressing.

But worry not there is a light at the end of the tunnel and it involves great wines on the market for us today with complexity and character and finesse and aromas handed down from the ancients.

So I apologize for the no-in-depth-post havin’ this week but next week I will be introducing you guys to Dionysus. So get ready for the craziness. Cheers.


One response to this post.

  1. Posted by David Angsten on November 15, 2008 at 2:14 am

    A friend just turned me on to your wonderful site! I too am fascinated by all things Dionysus, and share your interest in his possible Minoan origins. Kerenyi's book on this subject is fascinating. Also E.R. Dodds THE GREEKS & THE IRRATIONAL on the Maenad cults. You might also be interested in a thriller I've written called NIGHT OF THE FURIES, in which two American brothers in the Greek Isles discover a modern Dionysian cult.


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