Semele the myth
Posted by: Maria Atalanti
Published on: 13/09/2020Back to Blog
Semele was the daughter of the king Cadmus of Thebes and Harmony, daughter of the gods Aris and Aphrodite. She was exceptionally beautiful.
Zeus fell in love with her and married her in a secret marriage. From this union, Semele becomes pregnant. When Zeus’ wife, Hera, learns the fact, she becomes furious. Taking the form of Semele’s nurse, she urges her to ask Zeus to present himself before her in all his glory. Semele is convinced, and after having Zeus promise to satisfy her whatever desire she asks, she tells him her request. He tries to prevent her, but she insists. Zeus is forced to appear before her with all his divine brilliance and thunder lightning. Semele is burned by the flames and expels the child with whom she is six months pregnant. Zeus then, to save the child, rips his thigh and puts it in to be fed from his blood.
The child is born and becomes the god Dionysus. Dionysus was the god of wine, of fun, as well as of the ancient drama.