Homer Hesiod Hymns Tragedy Remythologizing Tools Blackboard Info
ARIADNE
The daughter of Minos and Pasiphae, who fell in love with Theseus when he came to Crete to kill the Minotaur, and gave him a clue of yarn, to help him to find his way back to the light of day after slaying the monster in the Labyrinth. She then fled away with him. Homer represents Ariadne as slain by Artemis in the Island of Dia, close to Crete, at the request of Dionysus. But the later legend shifts the scene to the Isle of Naxos, where the slumbering Ariadne is deserted by Theseus. Waking up, she is on the brink of despair, when Dionysus comes and raises her to the dignity of a god's wife. Zeus grants her immortality, and sets her bridal gift, a crown, among the stars. She received divine honours: at Naxos her festivals were held, now with dismal rites recalling her abandonment, now with bacchanalian revelry becoming the happy bride of Dionysus. At Athens in the autumn they held a joyous festival to her and Dionysus, which Theseus was supposed to have founded on his return from Crete. In Italy, where they identified Dionysus with their wine-god Liber, they also took Ariadne for the wine-goddess Libera.
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