Dionysos, bearded and holding a cornucopia in his left hand, is flanked by two pairs of his worshippers, satyrs and maenads.
black-figure alabastron : worship of Dionysos
They are all made in Greece in the workshop of the Lioulias family, with whom It's All Greek is proud to have been working since 2004.
The vases themselves are manufactured in Greece, the images are then applied by transfer, before being painted by hand.
Dionysos, son of Zeus and the mortal Semele, was the god of the vine and wine, liquid life, fertility and rebirth in nature. From his complex cult and ritual emerged Greek drama.
He was the only god to be born of a mortal mother, and he was one of the few who went to bring a dead soul back from the underworld - he brought Semele back with him to Mount Olympos.
Jealous Hera had tricked Zeus into causing Semele's death, but Zeus delivered the prematurely born Dionysos and stitched him into his thigh, from which he was born again at full term. Hera continued her campaign of revenge against the baby Dionysos, and arranged for him to be dismembered by the Titans, but Rhea, mother of Zeus, put him back together, and brought him back to life.
Dionysos rescued Ariadne on the island of Naxos, after she had been abandoned by Theseus, after she'd helped him to kill the Minotaur. They married and had several children. Dionysos would look after his half-brother Apollo's sanctuary in Delphi whenever Apollo left to spend time with the Hyperboreans.
The focal point of the Dionysia, the spring festival held in Athens in his honour, became the performances, in competition, of comedies, tragedies and satyr plays. These took place in the Theatre of Dionysos on the slopes of the Akropolis. One of those tragedies was Euripides' Bacchae, which explores the complexity and duality of this elemental and multi-faceted god.
He is often represented wearing vine leaves, even grapes, around his head. He is often accompanied by his followers, the female Maenads, and the hybrid Satyrs. He wears an animal skin cloak, and often carries a thyrsos and his signature wine-drinking vessel, the kantharos.
A mythological hybrid, half man, half hoofed creature like a goat. The satyr is usually depicted with a swishing tail, a snub nose, a beard and a permanently erect and disproportionally large phallus. Satyrs were associated with the worship of Dionysos, god of wine and theatre. The satyr represents unharnessed sexuality and the uninhibited aspects of our human nature, which, if indulged to excess, inevitably leads to potential chaos.