[wine ]. In Roman mythology the god of wine. He is
represented as a beautiful youth with black eyes, golden locks, flowing
with curls about his shoulders and filleted with ivy. In peace his robe
was purple, in war he was covered with a panther's skin. His chariot
was drawn by panthers.
The famous statue of Bacchus in the palace of Borghese (3 syl.) is
represented with a bunch of grapes in his hand and a panther at his
feet. Pliny tells us that, after his conquest of India, Bacchus entered
Thebes in a chariot drawn by elephants.
The Etruscan Bacchus was called Esar or Nesar , the
Umbrian Desar, the Assyrian Issus; the Greek
Dion-ysus; the Galatian Nyssus; the Hebrew Nizziz; a
Greek form was Iacchus (from Iache, a shout); the Latin
Bacchus; other forms of the word are the Norse Eis; the
Indian Ies; the Persian Yez; the Gaulish Hes; the
German Hist; and the Chinese Jos.
As jolly Bacchus, god of pleasure,
Charmed the wide world with drink and dances,
And all his thousand airy fancies,
Alas! he quite forgot the while
His favourite vines in Lesbos isle.
in the Lusiad
, is the evil demon or antagonist of Jupiter,
the lord of destiny. As Mars is the guardian power of Christianity,
Bacchus is the guardian power of Mohammedanism.
Bacchus sprang from the thigh of Zeus.
The tale is that Semele asked Zeus to appear before her in all his
glory, but the foolish request proved her death. Zeus saved the child
which was prematurely born by sewing it up in his thigh till it came to
maturity. The Arabian tradition is that the infant Bacchus was
nourished during infancy in a cave of Mount Meros. As “Meros” is Greek
for a thigh
, the Greek fable is readily explained.
What has that to do with Bacchus?
i.e. what has that to do with the
matter in hand? When Thespis introduced recitations in the vintage
songs, the innovation was suffered to pass, so long as the subject of
recitation bore on the exploits of Bacchus; but when, for variety sake,
he wandered to other subjects, the Greeks pulled him up with the
exclamation, “What has that to do with Bacchus?” (See
Bacchus a noyé plus d'hommes que Neptune.
The ale-house wrecks more men than the ocean.
Priest of Bacchus.
“The jolly old priests of Bacchus in the parlour make their libations
of claret.” —J. S. Le Fanu: The House in the Churchyard, p.
A son of Bacchus.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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