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Author Topic: Dionysus and tropical/exotic fruit?  (Read 2767 times)
fiamma
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« Topic Start: August 27, 2009, 01:16:20 pm »

For quite a while now, not really sure exactly when or where the idea popped into my mind...I think it might have been wandering around the produce section at the local Wegman's (if you're anywhere near a Wegman's and have never been to one...Go. Now.) checking out the selection of exotic fruits that just aren't (or are almost never) sold in other grocery stores around here, it probably just occurred to me that exotic fruit and Dionysus just seem to go together. Feel free to skip to the last paragraph now, I didn't intend to get so babbly, but now that I've written it all out...

So last night, I was thinking about this as I stopped in a liquor store looking for something for an offering for him and Hermes. I was trying to find something that I could use to make offerings to both of them, as I am recently unemployed and trying to not spend too much money. This was a tiny liquor store and nothing on their sad little wine shelf was jumping out at me. Literally or figuratively. (Bad joke on my part. I literally have had a wine bottle fall off the shelf at me in the past when I was trying to figure out what to get for Dionysus.)

Then I noticed in the refrigerator, a little bottle of Hpnotiq, which is apparently a blend of vodka, cognac, and tropical fruit juices. I immediately thought of Hermes because this particular beverage is a rather eye-catching shade of light turquoise blue, and no thanks to Disney's Hercules, I associate the color blue with Hermes (for anyone who was lucky enough to have not seen it or saw it and doesn't remember, Hermes was blue in that movie. Yes, you can flog me now. ) I didn't know what the stuff was, so I checked out the label and saw tropical fruit.

It seemed like a good idea. There were no voices in my head kicking and screaming "NO!" So I grabbed it.

On my way home, I was thinking about this a little more, and then even more last night when I couldn't sleep and I started to wonder if there were any festivals in existence where exotic fruits were a major offering, or would be an ideal major offering? I was thinking maybe there were, maybe I had read something a while ago and forgotten about it, but I was talking to Trickster earlier today and as far as either of us can think, there aren't, and I was just making it up in my brains. I just keep envisioning a celebration with huge trays of heaps of exotic fruits

Thoughts Ideas? Sounds crazy?
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« Reply #1: August 27, 2009, 11:11:39 pm »

(if you're anywhere near a Wegman's and have never been to one...Go. Now.)
I have been in one exactly once, last Oct when I visited JFP in Buffalo.  I will yearn for that supermarket for the rest of my life.

Quote
it probably just occurred to me that exotic fruit and Dionysus just seem to go together. Feel free to skip to the last paragraph now, I didn't intend to get so babbly, but now that I've written it all out...

<snip, or should I say skip>

On my way home, I was thinking about this a little more, and then even more last night when I couldn't sleep and I started to wonder if there were any festivals in existence where exotic fruits were a major offering, or would be an ideal major offering? I was thinking maybe there were, maybe I had read something a while ago and forgotten about it, but I was talking to Trickster earlier today and as far as either of us can think, there aren't, and I was just making it up in my brains. I just keep envisioning a celebration with huge trays of heaps of exotic fruits

Thoughts Ideas? Sounds crazy?
Given the much slower transportation speeds of the ancient world, and lack of preservation methods that didn't involve a change of state, there probably wouldn't be much in the way of exotic fruits (or not exotic as we understand the word), so I'd see this much more as modern UPG.  OTOH, it makes perfect sense, for both Dionysus and Hermes - I expect I'll make use of this myself, since I work with both to some extent.

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« Reply #2: August 28, 2009, 12:11:01 pm »

Given the much slower transportation speeds of the ancient world, and lack of preservation methods that didn't involve a change of state, there probably wouldn't be much in the way of exotic fruits (or not exotic as we understand the word), so I'd see this much more as modern UPG.  OTOH, it makes perfect sense, for both Dionysus and Hermes - I expect I'll make use of this myself, since I work with both to some extent.

Using Sunflower's post as a jumping-off point, Hermes is the god of travel.  IIRC, Dionysus was associated with foreign places in antiquity (I have nothing to back that up except a vague memory of an article Sannion wrote).  So I think tropical exotic fruit would be appropriate for both, imo.
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« Reply #3: August 28, 2009, 04:59:05 pm »

I have been in one exactly once, last Oct when I visited JFP in Buffalo.  I will yearn for that supermarket for the rest of my life.
Given the much slower transportation speeds of the ancient world, and lack of preservation methods that didn't involve a change of state, there probably wouldn't be much in the way of exotic fruits (or not exotic as we understand the word),

Oh yes. I was thinking if there was such a festival, it would be a modern invention. Either that, or there might exist an ancient festival for which exotic fruits might make an appropriate major offering in a modern observance.
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« Reply #4: August 29, 2009, 01:51:36 am »

.. it probably just occurred to me that exotic fruit and Dionysus just seem to go together.

Well, to the Greeks, Dionysus was an exotic God. Of the top of my head, I know that in many parts of The Bacchae, Euripedes refers to Dionysus as a newly-arrived God:

He runs to the mountains of Phrygia, to the mountains of Lydia he runs. (Phrygia & Lydia were in Anatolia/Turkey)

Far behind Me lie those golden-rivered lands of Lydia & Phrygia where My journey began. Overland I went across the steppes of Persia where the sun strikes hotly down, through Bactrian fastness & grim wastes of Medea. Thence to rich Arabia I came; so all along Asia’s swarming littoral of towered cities where Greeks & foreign nations live, My progress made. (Bactria eventually became Afghanistan, Persia is either Iran or Iraq, & Media/Medea is also either in Iran or Iraq - I get the two mixed up)

Whoever this God may be, welcome Him to Thebes, sire. For He is great in many other ways as well. It was He, or so they say, Who gave to mortal man the lovely gift of wine by which suffering is stopped.

Considering Greece's easy access to the Mediterranean Sea, Egypt and all the trade routes in between, I think it would be entirely plausible that some exotic foods (as far as fruit, maybe it was preserved in alcohol or dried?) probably did make it to Greece.
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« Reply #5: August 29, 2009, 03:42:09 am »

Well, to the Greeks, Dionysus was an exotic God. Of the top of my head, I know that in many parts of The Bacchae, Euripedes refers to Dionysus as a newly-arrived God:

He runs to the mountains of Phrygia, to the mountains of Lydia he runs. (Phrygia & Lydia were in Anatolia/Turkey)

Far behind Me lie those golden-rivered lands of Lydia & Phrygia where My journey began. Overland I went across the steppes of Persia where the sun strikes hotly down, through Bactrian fastness & grim wastes of Medea. Thence to rich Arabia I came; so all along Asia’s swarming littoral of towered cities where Greeks & foreign nations live, My progress made. (Bactria eventually became Afghanistan, Persia is either Iran or Iraq, & Media/Medea is also either in Iran or Iraq - I get the two mixed up)

Whoever this God may be, welcome Him to Thebes, sire. For He is great in many other ways as well. It was He, or so they say, Who gave to mortal man the lovely gift of wine by which suffering is stopped.

Considering Greece's easy access to the Mediterranean Sea, Egypt and all the trade routes in between, I think it would be entirely plausible that some exotic foods (as far as fruit, maybe it was preserved in alcohol or dried?) probably did make it to Greece.

Well the hilarious thing about that is that Dionysos was older, much much much older. His name is found in Linear B script. And his birth is recorded to be in Thebes (well, mostly; not counting him being born in Zeus'  thigh or from Persephone). After that he was raised in Nysa by the nymphs there and in Phygria by Kybele-Rheia.


I think though I've already responded to your discussion on NA, Fiamma, but I'll repeat it here in any case:

I think its entirely apt for Dionysos and even Hermes to be related to exotic fruits. Dionysos was found in Egypt, I believe, before the conquering of Alexander the Great; He took to India and peacefully conquered them, and there are festivals in his honour relating to that. If you check out wildivine.org's calendar (I think its under devotional activities, but you might need to use the way back machine since I think they are having some hiccups) there are a couple of festivals there you could use, since he is quite related to vegetation and life, and exotic fruits seem to be a mix between them, I think. Smiley
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