Dionysus was the god of wine. He was the son of Zeus by Semele. When his mother was burnt to death in the glory of Zeus. He was still a helpless infant. His father trusted his upbringing to some mountain fairy maidens. They took the greatest care of him. Under the tutorship（辅导） of Silennus, the Satyr, he was introduced to all the secrets of nature and the culture of the wine.
He travelled far and wide in his carriage drawn by wild beasts. He was said to have been to India and Ethiopia. Wherever he went, there was music and song and revelling. Hisattendants, known as the Bacchantes, were noted for their noiseand disorder. A most wild, noisy crow, they drank, danced andsang in a careless way. The women Bacchantes were infamous for their excessive immodesty and disgraceful excitement .
In their madness and intoxication（中毒，陶醉） they committed cruel violence. They tore orpheus, the gifted musician, limb from limb. King Pentheus of Thebes, for frowning on the worship of Bacchus in his kingdom, suffered the same treatment at the hands of a band of these fanatical women, of whom his own mother was the leader.