Semele  

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"If man loves boys, God loves boys also. Homer and Hesiod forgot to tell us about Ganymede and Hyacinth and Hylas. Let these lads be added to the list of Danaë and Semele and Io. Homer told us that, because Ganymede was beautiful, Zeus made him the serving-boy of the immortals." --A Problem in Greek Ethics (1883) by John Addington Symonds

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In Greek mythology, Semele, daughter of Cadmus and Harmonia, was the mortal mother of Dionysus by Zeus in one of his many origin myths. (In another version of his mythic origin, he had two mothers, Persephone and Semele.) The name "Semele", like other elements of Dionysiac cult (e.g., thyrsus and dithyramb), is manifestly not Greek but apparently Thraco-Phrygian; the myth of Semele's father Cadmus gives him a Phoenician origin. Herodotus, who gives the account of Cadmus, estimates that Semele lived sixteen hundred years before his time, or around 2000 B.C..




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