The dolphin of Dioniso

The divine Dioniso, the son of Zeus and Semele, who once discovered how to turn grapes into wine, was one day kidnapped by pirates.
He was seen on the beach dressed up really nice and the pirates, thinking he was a prince, kidnapped him for ransom and tied him to a tree on their ship.
Suddenly a spring of wine gushed on the ship’s deck a vine grew on the tree, and its shoots wrapped the whole ship. As a result, the god released himself from the ties,turned himself into a lion, and the scared seamen jumped in the water and turned into dolphins.
Since then, the dolphins are friends of the god and their image is depicted on the wine goblets, on the vases, and on the floors where men would meet to drink together.


Also in the sanctuary of Ercole and Mefite, there was a banquet hall with a floor that depicted four dolphins jumping through waves, reminding those who would drink wine there that the nectar was a creation of the Dionis’s son.

Texts: A. Lagi
Picture: SABAP Salerno- Avellino
English translation: Scu association Pro Loco Buccino Volcei