, 34) confirms this "celebration of the birth of the year-god Aion to the virgin Goddess Kore," the latter of whom he calls "a Hellenized transformation of Isis," the Egyptian mother goddess who was likewise called the "Great Virgin" in inscriptions predating the Christian era by centuries.
According to the most common tradition, Dionysus was the son of the god Zeus and the mortal woman Semele.
In the Cretan version of the same story, which the pre-Christian Greek historian Diodorus Siculus follows, Dionysus was the son of Zeus and Persephone, the daughter of Demeter also called Kore, who is styled a "virgin goddess." In the common myth about the birth of Dionysus/Bacchus, Semele is mysteriously impregnated by one of Zeus's bolts of lightning--an obvious miraculous/virgin conception.
, XII) remarked to his Pagan audience: Ye yourselves say that Father Liber was assuredly twice begotten.
The title "King of Kings" and other epithets may reflect Dionysus's kinship with Osiris: During the late 18th to early 19th dynasties (c.
1300 BCE), Osiris's epithets included, "the king of eternity, the lord of everlastingness, who traverseth millions of years in the duration of his life, the firstborn son of the womb of Nut, begotten of Seb, the prince of gods and men, the god of gods, the king of kings, the lord of lords, the prince of princes, the governor of the world whose existence is for everlasting." (Budge, liii) Dionysus's death and resurrection were famous in ancient times, so much so that Christian father Origen (c. 254) felt the need to address them in his Contra Celsus (IV, XVI-XVII), comparing them unfavorably, of course, to those of Christ.
Although Dionysus is depicted as being the product of a "rape" by Zeus, the story is little different from the impregnation of the Virgin Mary by Yahweh without her consent, especially in consideration of the identification of Dionysus's very blood with parthenogenesis.
In this regard, Rigoglioso also states, "I contend that Persephone's eating of the pomegranate was the magical action that instigated her ability to conceive parthenogenetically." Also, in the museum in Naples has been kept an ancient marble urn showing the birth/nativity of Dionysus, with two groups of three figures on either side of the god Mercury, who is holding the divine baby, and a female figure who is receiving him. Mattill remarks: This story is really the Christian counterpart to the pagan legends of Dionysus, the Greek god of wine, who at his annual festival in his temple of Elis filled three empty kettles with wine-no water needed!
Dionysus/Bacchus's resurrection or revival after having been torn to pieces or otherwise killed earned him the epithet of "twice born." evidently referring to the god's journey into the underworld to visit his mother. I find it undeniable that...many, many of the epic heroes and ancient patriarchs and matriarchs of the Old Testament were personified stars, planets and constellations..." —Dr. Price, "Acharya S deserves to be recognized as a leading researcher and an expert in the field of comparative mythology, on a par with James Frazer or Robert Graves—indeed, superior to those forerunners in the frankness of her conclusions and the volume of her evidence." —Barbara Walker, "...(Campbell, , 4.23) In an Orphic hymn, Phanes-Dionysus is styled by the Greek title Protogonos or "first-born" of Zeus, also translated at times as "only-begotten son," although the term Monogenes would be more appropriately rendered as the latter.He is also called "Soter" or "Savior" in various inscriptions, including a bronze coin from the Thracian city of Maroneia dating to circa 400-350 BCE.In another account, Jupiter/Zeus gives Dionysus's torn-up heart in a drink to Semele, who becomes pregnant with the "twice born" god this way, again a miraculous or "virgin" birth.Indeed, Joseph Campbell explicitly calls Semele a "virgin": While the maiden goddess sat there, peacefully weaving a mantle on which there was to be a representation of the universe, her mother contrived that Zeus should learn of her presence; he approached her in the form of an immense snake.