Twenty Epithets for Dionysus


Drinking Bacchus, Guido Reni, 1623

Acratophorus, (“giver of unmixed wine”), at Phigaleia in Arcadia.

Acroreites at Sicyon.

Adoneus (“ruler”) in his Latinised, Bacchic cult.

Aegobolus (“goat killer”) at Potniae, in Boeotia.

Aesymnetes (“ruler” or “lord”) at Aroë and Patrae in Achaea.


Floor mosaic of the legend of Pyramus and Thisbe, from the House of Dionysus, 3rd century A.D.

Agrios (“wild”), in Macedonia.

Bromios (“the thunderer” or “he of the loud shout”).

Dendrites (“he of the trees”), as a fertility god.


Bacchus, Peter Paul Reubens, 1638-40

Dithyrambos, form of address used at his festivals, referring to his premature birth.

Eleutherios (“the liberator”), an epithet for both Dionysus and Eros.

Endendros (“he in the tree”).

Enorches (“with balls,” with reference to his fertility, or “in the testicles” in reference to Zeus’ sewing the baby Dionysus into his thigh, i.e., his testicles). Used in Samos and Lesbos.


Bacchus, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, 1595

Erikryptos (“completely hidden”), in Macedonia.

Eviüs, in Euripides’ play, The Bacchae.

Iacchus, possibly an epithet of Dionysus and associated with the Eleusinian Mysteries. In Eleusis, he is known as a son of Zeus and Demeter. The name “Iacchus” may come from the Ιακχος (Iakchos), a hymn sung in honor of Dionysus.

Liknites (“he of the winnowing fan”), as a fertility god connected with the mystery religions. A winnowing fan was used to separate the chaff from the grain.

Lyaeus (“he who unties”) or releases from care and anxiety.

Melanaigis (“of the black goatskin”) at the Apaturia festival.

Oeneus, as god of the wine press.

Pseudanor (“false man”), in Macedonia.