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On this page: Dion Ysus – Dionysocles – Dionysodorus – Dionysodotus



ment. in Hippocr. "Aplior." iv. 69, vol. xvii. pt. ii. p. 751) as a commentator on the Aphorisms of Hippocrates, must have lived in or before the se­cond century after Christ, but cannot certainly be identified with any other physician of that name.

13. A physician whose medical formulae are mentioned by Celsus (De Med. vi. 6. 4 ; 18. 9, pp. 119, 136), must have lived in or before the first century after Christ, and may perhaps be the same person as No. 3, or 8.

14. A physician at Rome in the fifth century after Christ, who was also in deacon's orders, and a man of great piety. When Rome was taken by Alaric, A. d. 410, Dionysius was carried away pri­ soner, but was treated with great kindness, on account of his virtues and his medical skill. An epitaph on him in Latin elegiac verse is to be found in Baronius, Annal, Eccles. ad ann. 410? §41. [W.A.G.]

DIONYSOCLES (AwwcroKA^), of Tralles, is mentioned by Strabo (xiv. p. 649) among the dis­ tinguished rhetoricians of that city. He was pro­ bably a pupil of Apollodorus of Pergamus, and consequently lived shortly before or at the time of Strabo. [L. S.]

DIONYSODORUS (Aiowro8«/>os). 1. A Boeotian, who is mentioned by Diodorus Siculus (xv. 95) as the author of a history of Greece, which came down as far as the reign of Philip of Macedonia, the father of Alexander the Great. It is usually supposed that he is the same person as the Dionysodorus in Diogenes Laertius (ii. 42), who denied that the paean which went by the name of Socrates, was the production of the philosopher. (Comp. Schol. ad Apollon. RJiod. i. 917.) It is uncertain also whether he is the au­thor of a work on rivers (^repl iroTa/jiaJv, Schol. ad Eurip. flippol. 122), and of another entitled t& -rrapa, roTs rpayqfioLS T^apT^ftem, which is quoted by a Scholiast. (Ad Eurip. RJies. 504.)

2. A Greek rhetorician, who is introduced in Lucian's Symposium (c. 6). Another person of the same name is mentioned, in the beginning of Plato's dialogue " Euthydemus," as a brother of Euthydemus. (Comp. Xenoph. Memor. iii. 1. § 1.)

3. Of Troezene, a Greek grammarian, who is referred to by Plutarch (Arat. 1) and in the work of Apollonius Dyscolus "on Pronouns." [L. S.]

DIONYSODORUS (Aiowro'Swpos), a geome­ter of Cydnus, whose mode of cutting a sphere by a plane in a given ratio is preserved by Eutocius, in his comment on book ii. prop. 5, of the sphere and cylinder of Archimedes. A species of conical sun-dial is attributed to him, and Pliny (H. JV. ii. 109) says, that he had an inscription placed on his tomb, addressed to the world above, stating that he had been to the centre of the earth and found it 42 thousand stadia distant. Pliny calls this a striking instance of Greek vanity ; but, as Weidler remarks, it is as near a guess as any that was made for a long time afterwards. (Weidler, Hist. Astron. p. 133 ; Heilbronner, in verb.} [A. de M.]

DIONYSODORUS. [moschion.]

DIONYSODOTUS (AtoworfSoros), a lyric poet of Lacedaemon, who is mentioned along with Alcman, and whose paeans were very popular at Sparta, (Athen. xv. p. 678.) [L. S.]

DION YSUS (alovvo-os or akw joktos), the youth­ful, beautiful, but effeminate god of wine. He is also calledbothby Greeksand Romans Bacchus (Bct/r^os), that is, the noisy or riotous god, which was origi-


nally a mere epithet or surname of Dionysus, but does not occur till after the time of Herodotus. Ac­cording to the common tradition, Dionysus was the son of Zeus and Semele, the daughter of Cadmus of Thebes (Horn. Hymn. vi. 56 ; Eurip. Bacch. init. | Apollod. iii. 4. § 3); whereas others describe him as a son of Zeus by Demeter, lo, Dione, or Arge. (Diod. iii. 62, 74; Schol. ad Find. Pyth. iii. 177 j Plut. deFlum. 16.) Diodorus (iii. 67) further men­tions a tradition, according to which he was a son of Ammon and Amaltheia. and that Ammon, from fear of Rhea, carried the child to a cave in the neighbourhood of mount Nysa, in a lonely island formed by the river Triton. Ammon there en­trusted the child to Nysa, the daughter of Aristaeus, and Athena likewise undertook to protect the boy. Others again represent him as a son of Zeus by Per­sephone or Iris, or describe him simply as a son of Lethe, or of Indus. (Diod. iv. 4 ; Plut. Sympos. vii. 5 ; Philostr. Vit. Apollon. ii. 9.) The same diversity of opinions prevails in regard to the na­tive place of the god, which in the common tradi­tion is Thebes, while in others we find India, Libya, Crete, Dracanum in Samos, Naxos, Elis, Eleutherae, or Teos, mentioned as his birthplace. (Horn. Hymn. xxv. 8 ; Diod. iii. 65, v. 75 ; Nonnus, Dionys. ix. 6 ; Theocrit. xxvi. 33.) It is owing to this diversity in the traditions that ancient writers were driven to the supposition that there were ori­ginally several divinities which were afterwards identified under the one name of Dionysus. Cicero (de Nat. Deor. iii. 23) distinguishes five Dionysi, and Diodorus (iii. 63, &c.) three.

The common story, which makes Dionysus a son of Semele by Zeus, runs as follows: Hera, jealous of Semele, visited her in the disguise of a friend, or an old woman, and persuaded her to request Zeus to appear to her in, the same glory and majesty in which he was accustomed to approach his own wife Hera. When all entreaties to desist from this re­quest were fruitless, Zeus at length complied, and appeared to her in thunder and lightning. Semele was terrified and overpowered by the sight, and being seized by the fire, she gave premature birth to a child. Zeus, or according to others, Hermes (Apollon. Rhod. iv. 1137) saved the child from the flames : it was sewed up in the thigh, of Zeus, and thus came to maturity. Various epithets which are given to the god refer to that occurrence, such as Trup^ei^s, /jLf]poppa(pr}Sj /jL^poTpa<pr)s and iynigena. (Strab. xiii. p. 628 ; Diod. iv. 5 ; Eurip. Bacch. 295 ; Eustath. ad Horn. p. 310 ; Ov. Met. iv. 11.) After the birth of Dionysus, Zeus entrusted him to Hermes, or, according to others, to Persephone or Rhea (Orph. Hymn. xlv. 6 ; Steph. Byz. s. v, MacrTowpa), who took the child to Ino and Athamas at Orchomenos, and persuaded them to bring him up as a girl. Hera was now urged on by her jea­lousy to throw Ino and Athamas into a state of madness, and Zeus, in order to save his child, changed him into a ram, and carried him to the nymphs of mount Nysa, who brought him up in a cave, and were afterwards rewarded for it by Zeus, by being placed as Hyades among the stars. (Hygin. Fab. 182; Theon, ad Arat. Pliaen. Ill', comp. hyades.)

The inhabitants of Brasiae, in Laconia, ac­cording to Pausanias (iii. 24. § 3), told a different story about the birth of Dionysus. When Cadmus heard, they said, that Semele was mother of a son by Zeus? he put her and her child into a chest, and

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