Dionysus, also commonly known by his Roman name Bacchus, appears to be a god who has two distinct origins. On the one hand, Dionysus was the god of wine, agriculture, and fertility of nature, who is also the patron god of the Greek stage. On the other hand, Dionysus also represents the outstanding features of mystery religions, such as those practiced at Eleusis According to one myth, Dionysus is the son of the god Zeus and the mortal woman, Semele (daughter of Cadmus of Thebes). Semele is killed by Zeus' lightning bolts while Dionysus is still in her womb until he would be ready to be born. His birth from Zeus conferred immortality upon him. The festival for Dionysus was held in the spring when vines would start bearing leaves. It became one of the most important events of the year and its primary focal point was the theater. Most of the great Greek plays were initially written to be performed at the feast of Dionysus. All participants, writers, actors, spectators, were regarded as sacred servants of Dionysus during the festival.
Maeands also known as Bacchantes, Bacchae, or Thyiades women worshipped the god Bacchus, and, along with the notorious satyrs, formed part of the god's entourage. Indeed, Maenads frequently appear together with the frenzied deity of wine in both myth and art, where they are depicted holding Dionysian symbols such as the thyrsos, ivy, or grapes, and often shown wearing panther or fawn skins.