Ancient bear cult - sounds from the past
The most common myth about the origins of Dionysus says that he was the son of Zeus * and of Semele, daughter of the founder of Thebes. Zeus's jealous wife, Hera, wanted to know the identity of the child's father. She disguised herself as Semele's old nurse and went to see Semele. When Semele told her that Zeus was the father, Hera challenged her to prove her claim by having Zeus appear in all his glory. Semele did so. However, because Zeus was the god of lightning, his power was too much for a human to bear. Semele was turned into ashes.
The Orgia (Orgiastic festivals) of the Phrygian Mother of the Gods were introduced to Greece by way the island of Samothrake. They were closely connected with the Orgies of the god Dionysos, whose Phrygian counterpart, Sabazios, was described as a son of the goddess.