Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997)

Vine-wreathed Greek God of wine and Revel, Latinized as Bacchus; often contrasted with Apollo. Aristophanes makes Dionysus (in his subsidiary role as god of drama) the semi-comic hero of The Frogs (405BC). This god's usual retinue includes Pan, Satyrs and his aged, drunken Mentor Silenus – who dispenses uncomfortable wisdom in James Branch Cabell's Jurgen (1919). Introducing Bacchus and Silenus into his Children's Fantasy Prince Caspian (1951), C S Lewis cautiously substitutes fresh grapes for wine but still hints at the dangerous side of bacchanalia; comic fantasies like Thorne Smith's The Night Life of the Gods (1931) tend to present the god as a mere genial tippler. [DRL]

This entry is taken from the Encyclopedia of Fantasy (1997) edited by John Clute and John Grant. It is provided as a reference and resource for users of the SF Encyclopedia, but apart from possible small corrections has not been updated.