Διόνυσος

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Ancient Greek[edit]

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Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

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Attested in Mycenaean Greek (13th to 12th century BCE) as 𐀇𐀺𐀝𐀰 (di-wo-nu-so). Dialectal variants include Διένυσος (Diénusos), Δεύνυσος (Deúnusos), Δίννυσος (Dínnusos) and others.

By popular etymology often connected with Διός (Diós) (the genitive of Ζεύς (Zeús, Zeus)). The dio- forms are probably built by analogy from an original stem die-. The compound die-nus-os is analysed as from a verbal stem die- (from δίεμαι (díemai, to chase, to impel)). The nus- element gave rise to a toponym Νύσα (Núsa, Nusa), a mountain where the god was nursed by nymphs (the Nysiads, Nysa is also the name given to one of these nymphs). According to the testimony of Pherecydes of Syros (6th c. BCE), nusa is a word for "tree". Janda (Die Musik nach dem Chaos, 2010) suggests an original meaning of "impeller of the (world-)tree" (the axis mundi), connecting the god with archaic cosmology. The close association or indeed identity of Dionysus with a tree (especially the fig tree) is well attested in the classical period.

Pronunciation[edit]

 

Proper noun[edit]

Δῐόνῡσος (Diónūsosm (genitive Δῐονῡ́σου); second declension

  1. Dionysus

Inflection[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Descendants[edit]

Further reading[edit]