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Bacchus: A Biography

  • Andrew Dalby

    This is the life story of the wine god Bacchus—seducer, magician, and merrymaker—as never told before. Tales of his bizarre birth from a womb fashioned in his father Zeus's thigh led to even stranger stories, passed down through generations of dramatists, poets, storytellers, and historians. Bacchus is best remembered, however, for his gift of wine to humanity. With it he brought not only pleasure but also savagery and death. Pentheus, for example, was torn apart at the hands of his own mother and her fellow Maenads in the midst of a Bacchic frenzy.

    In this highly enjoyable biography, the author weaves together these and other intriguing episodes from Bacchus's life from his youth spent on Mount Nysa among nymphs and satyrs to his relentless pursuit by the goddess Hera to his many amorous exploits—bringing the wild and powerful wine god to life.

    Andrew Dalby, a historian of antiquity by training, writes on the history of food and the history of languages. His books include Language in Danger, Dangerous Tastes: The Story of Spices, Empire of Pleasures: Luxury and Indulgence in the Roman World, and Venus: A Biography (Getty Publications, 2005).

    168 pages
    5 7/8 x 9 inches
    18 color illustrations
    ISBN 978-0-89236-742-9

    Getty Publications
    Imprint: J. Paul Getty Museum