Dionysus  - Pillar 2, south side 


Dionysus, the son of Zeus and Semele and known chiefly as the god of wine, the vine, and revelry, was the paramount god of fertility and the rebirth of nature. His wife was Ariadne. He was accompanied by the Maenads, nymphs possessed by Dionysian frenzy, as well as the spirits of fertility, the water, and the woods, the Satyrs and Silens. Mortals worshipped him with every sort of licentiousness, in raucous processions and ecstatic dances, frequently wearing masks. Ancient drama and today’s theater developed from Dionysian worship.

Dionysus is depicted here as a semi-nude youth, crowned with his beloved plant, the ivy, and holding a cluster of grapes. His favorite animal, the panther, is shown beside him.