Dionysus (Roman name: Baco, also known as Dionisio) was the ancient Greek god of wine, fun, and theater. Being the young rebel of Mount Olympus, he was perhaps the most picturesque of the Olympic gods.
In Greek mythology, despite being the son of Zeus and Semele (the daughter of Cadmus and Harmonia), Dionysus did not have the best start in life as his mother died while still pregnant. Hera, the wife of Zeus, was jealous of her husband's illicit affair and cunningly persuaded Semele to ask Zeus to reveal himself to her in all her divine splendor. This was too much for the mortal and she immediately passed away. However, Zeus took the unborn child and raised it on his thigh. Most accounts describe satyrs and nymphs as Dionysus' caretakers in his childhood, and the sage Silenus as his chief educator on Mount Nisa, far from Hera's wrath.
Homer describes the god as the "joy of men", and Hesiod similarly describes him as "very moving". No doubt this is because Dionysus is credited with giving man the gift of wine. The god gave Icarius—a noble citizen of Icaria in Attica—the vine tree. From this, Icario made the wine that he shared with a group of shepherds who were passing by. However, not realizing the stupefying effects of the wine, the shepherds thought they had been poisoned, so without hesitating, they took revenge and killed the unfortunate Icarius. Despite this ominous beginning for the wine industry, it became an extremely popular drink in ancient times. The Greeks used to drink wine diluted with water (one part wine to three parts water), mixed in a large krater vessel. Wine was drunk at banquets, festivals, and private parties, particularly at a symposium—a kind of informal drinking session—exclusively for men, where guests reclined on a sofa (kline) and discussed topics ranging from gossip to philosophy.