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.
Click on image for full size
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. Semele was the daughter of Cadmus,
the brother of Europa,
and Harmonia, the daughter of
Ares and Aphrodite.
When Zeus and
Semele first got to know each other, Zeus was disguised in simple
clothes. Zeus'wife, Hera, was angry with both Zeus and Semele.
Hera disguised herself as Semele's nurse and made Semele curious about
her new boyfriend.
The next time Zeus visited, Semele made him promise that the
next time he came, he would come to her as he really was.
On his next visit, he came as the god Zeus, and Semele was
consumed 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.
Shop Windows to the Universe Science Store!
Our online store
on science education, ranging from evolution
, classroom research
, and the need for science and math literacy
You might also be interested in:
How did life evolve on Earth? The answer to this question can help us understand our past and prepare for our future. Although evolution provides credible and reliable answers, polls show that many people turn away from science, seeking other explanations with which they are more comfortable....more
In Roman mythology, Jupiter was the king of heaven and Earth and of all the Olympian gods. He was also known as the god of justice. He was named king of the gods in the special meeting that followed his...more
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. Semele was the daughter...more
Gaea, or Mother Earth, was the great goddess of the early Greeks. She represented the Earth and was worshipped as the universal mother. In Greek mythology, she created the universe and gave birth to both...more
Following the defeat of the Titans by the Jovian gods, Hades obtained the kingdom of the underworld. One day, while he was riding through the field of battle, the goddess Aphrodite had her companion Eros...more
Neptune was the name that ancient Romans gave to the Greek god of the sea and earthquakes, Poseidon. He was the brother of Jupiter (Zeus) and of Pluto (Hades). After the defeat of their father Saturn (Cronos),...more
Following the defeat of the Titans by the Jovian gods, Pluto obtained the kingdom of the underworld. One day, while he was riding through the field of battle, the goddess Venus had her companion, Cupid,...more
Poseidon was the Greek god of the sea and earthquakes. Poseidon was depicted as a bearded man with long hair, holding a trident and accompanied by dolphins and fish. He had the reputation for having a...more