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Praxiteles: "Hermes with the Young Dionysus". Marble sculpture (c. 340 BC.). Archaeological Museum, Olympia. The statue represents the god Hermes standing in a relaxed pose, holding the infant Dionysus on his arm, and playing with him.
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Corel Corporation.

Hermes and the Birth of Dionysus

Hermes was popular among the gods because he was playful, innocent, and helpful. Hermes helped his father, Zeus, when Dionysus was born. Dionysus was the son of Semele and Zeus. When Zeus and Semele first got to know each other, Zeus was disguised in simple clothes. When he finally visited Semele as the god Zeus, she was turned to ashes by his brillance. Zeus took Semele's baby, Dionysus, and nurtured him until he was ready to be born. Once he was born, Zeus gave Dionysus to Hermes to protect the baby from Zeus' wife, who was jealous. Hermes put the baby Dionysus in the care of Io, Semele's sister.



Last modified August 28, 2001 by Jennifer Bergman.

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