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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Hermes and the Birth of Dionysus
Hermes was popular among the gods
because he was playful, innocent, and helpful.
Hermes helped his father,
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.
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