Ariadne The Immortal Wife of the Wine-God Dionysos

Jun 26, 22

Ariadne The Immortal Wife of the Wine-God Dionysos

 

Ariadne was the Immortal Wife of the Wine-God Dionysus

 

In Greek mythology, Ariadne was the daughter of King Minos and his wife, Pasiphae. She was also the wife of the wine-god Dionysos. In that capacity, she appears in several myths about her husband—often as his helper or supporter.

Her role as Queen of the Labyrinth is perhaps her most famous mythological story, although it’s not known whether she had that position before or after marrying Dionysos.

That said, we know far more about this minor goddess than many others who appear only once or twice in ancient texts.

Keep reading to discover more about this lesser-known figure from Greek mythology.

 

Who Was Ariadne in Greek Mythology?

Ariadne was the daughter of King Minos and his wife, Pasiphae. She was also the wife of the wine-god Dionysos. In that capacity, she appears in several myths about her husband—often as his helper or supporter.

Her role as Queen of the Labyrinth is perhaps her most famous mythological story, although it’s not known whether she had that position before or after marrying Dionysos. That said, we know far more about this minor goddess than many others who appear only once or twice in ancient texts.

Ariadne played a role in many of Dionysos’ stories. In one of them (the ending of the Lycurgus myth), she helped Dionysos to get rid of King Lycurgus of Thrace by tricking him into wearing a pair of magical shoes that made him crazy.

In another, Dionysos’ mother, Semele, asked Ariadne for help in getting pregnant. Ariadne helped her by giving her a magical veil.

 

Ariadne’s Parents and Family

We don’t know too much about Ariadne’s background, but we do know something about her family. Her father was Minos of Crete, a great king who also had a reputation for being evil (mainly because he was the man who killed Theseus, one of the most famous Greek heroes).

Ariadne’s mother was Pasiphae, a rather strange woman who was once married to a bull (or at least, she was impregnated by one). The result was the Minotaur, that strange hybrid creature who lived in the Labyrinth built by Daedalus.

 

The Labyrinth and the Minotaur

This is one of the best-known parts of the legend of Ariadne. Her father, King Minos, was the man who built the Labyrinth to hold the Minotaur, a hybrid creature that he had been told to create by the Oracle at Delphi.

This hybrid was said to have the head and upper body of a man, but the lower body of a bull. The Labyrinth was designed so that nobody could find their way out of it (and so that nobody could find their way into it).

The Minotaur lived in the Labyrinth, while the people of Crete were forced to send seven youths and seven maidens to be sacrificed to it every year. Ariadne herself was one of the sacrificial brides who were sent to the Labyrinth.

She was said to have been given either to the Minotaur or to King Minos himself as a wife. In any case, she didn’t like either one very much, and she met a young man named Theseus, who was trying to find his way out of the Labyrinth after he was sent in to kill the Minotaur.

Ariadne fell in love with Theseus and gave him a ball of thread so that he could find his way back out again.

 

Ariadne and Dionysos: Marriage, Children and More

Ariadne’s marriage with Dionysos is one of the most important things about her in Greek mythology. They married for several reasons.

First of all, Dionysos needed someone to rule the people of the island of Naxos, where he had gone to live. And Ariadne was the only eligible woman on the island.

Second, Dionysos was in love with Ariadne, and she felt the same way about him.

Third, Dionysos and Ariadne had two sons together: Staphylos and Thoas. Staphylos died as a child, but Thoas became the next king of Naxos after his parents passed away.

Like many gods and goddesses, Dionysos and Ariadne were killed at some point. In Ariadne’s case, this was usually blamed on Artemis, the goddess of wild animals, hunting and the moon.

Artemis was angry at Dionysos for neglecting her, and she decided to get her revenge by killing Dionysos and Ariadne. We aren’t sure why Artemis wanted to kill Ariadne, but it might have been because she was jealous of the woman’s closeness to Dionysos.

 

Why Is Ariadne Important in Greek Mythology?

Ariadne is important in Greek mythology for a number of reasons. First of all, she is a great example of a woman who used her wits to get out of a bad situation. The myth of Ariadne is full of images of her outwitting her enemies, even though she was often outnumbered and outgunned.

This myth also shows several different sides of Ariadne, who appears to be a complex, three-dimensional character. She’s feisty, but she’s also clearly in love with Dionysos—and he returns that love. Ariadne’s marriage with Dionysos is also an example of how two different mythological traditions seem to combine.

Dionysos was a Greek god, while Ariadne was a member of the Minoan civilization that lived on Crete before the Greeks conquered them. Artemis may have been a Greek goddess, but she also appears in the myth of Ariadne.

Artemis, Dionysos and Ariadne are all important mythological figures in their own right, but they also bring together different cultural and mythological traditions.

 

Conclusion

Ariadne was the daughter of King Minos, who built a labyrinth to hold the Minotaur, a hybrid creature that he had been told to create by the Oracle at Delphi.

Ariadne herself was one of the sacrificial brides who were sent to the labyrinth; she was given either to the minotaur or to King Minos himself as a wife. Ariadne fell in love with Theseus, who was trying to find his way out of the labyrinth after he was sent in to kill the Minotaur.

She gave him a ball of thread so that he could find his way back out again. Ariadne played a role in many of Dionysos’ stories. In one of them, she helped Dionysos to get rid of King Lycurgus of Thrace by tricking him into wearing a pair of magical shoes that made him crazy.

In another, Dionysos’ mother, Semele, asked Ariadne for help in getting pregnant. Ariadne helped her by giving her a magical veil. Dionysos and Ariadne married, and they had two sons together.

Artemis may have been a Greek goddess, but she also appears in the myth of Ariadne. Artemis, Dionysos and Ariadne bring together different cultural and mythological traditions.

Related Products

Dionysus: God Of Wine & Ritual Madness | Sweet Berries Green Tea - My Life Tea

Dionysus: God Of Wine & Ritual Madness | Sweet Berries Green Tea

$30.43

Zeus: King Of The Gods | English Breakfast Tea - My Life Tea

Zeus: King Of The Gods | English Breakfast Tea

$30.43

Aphrodite: Goddess Of Love | Apple, Rose & Lemon Green Tea - My Life Tea

Aphrodite: Goddess Of Love | Apple, Rose & Lemon Green Tea

$30.43

Apollo: God Of Music & Harmony | Ginger, Lemon & Eucalyptus Tea - My Life Tea

Apollo: God Of Music & Harmony | Ginger, Lemon & Eucalyptus Tea

$30.43

Related Articles