Myths And Legends Involving Alcohol
For centuries alcohol has played a significant role in several cultures and religions across the world, giving rise to many myths and legends.
Here we have a short list of some of the commonly known legends and Gods marking the importance of alcohol in some of the ancient cultures.
Bacchus – The Party God
In the rich Greek mythology, Bacchus the son of Jupiter and Semele, is the God of harvest, winemaking and fertility. As the legend goes, upon growing up Bacchus learned about the vines and winemaking. He later travelled around the world on his divine mission to educate people about the art of winemaking.
Many secret rituals were practised by women in ancient Rome to worship him. Even in modern times, a celebration is held in his honour each year in October.
Carrying the legacy of his name forward, there are theme parties and drinking events in the present day. His name also features in the ‘drinking song’ by Longfellow. Bacchus is indeed one famous party God!
Cleopatra and The Pearl
In a rather riveting tale about legendary Egyptian queen Cleopatra and her magnificent pearl, wine finds a short but an important role to play. According to the legend, Cleopatra in a lavish display of her wealth & power had a bet with the Roman leader Marc Anthony that she could spend a fortune (10 million sesterces) on one meal. To win this bet, the queen then plucked one of the pearls from her earrings, dissolved it in the goblet of wine and gulped it!
In ancient Egypt, Tenenet was a multitasker Goddess, who was associated with childbirth and brewing beer! It is also believed that she derived her name from the word ‘tenemu’, which means beer.
Silenus is not only the God of beer but also a drinking companion in ancient Greek mythology! He often features as the jovial old man with a big beer belly and is said to be usually drunk. It is also believed that in his state of drunkenness, he is often carried by donkeys or satyrs.
Osiris – The God of Beer & Wine
Osiris was the God of beer & wine who was responsible for the farming by the river Nile. It is believed that he educated the Egyptians about wine-making & brewing beer. He is also known as the God of the afterlife & resurrection, and the families of those who passed on offered alcohol to Osiris to please him.
The patron of those brewing beer and associated with music, dance & humour, Bes was believed to be the jolly good leprechaun who assisted pharaoh’s army in winning wars and protected their homes. He was portrayed drinking beer. It is believed that the soldiers drank to their victory before going to battle, from ‘Bes-shaped’ mugs.
Shezmu – The Multi-Tasker God of Wine
Shezmu, the Egyptian multi-tasker God is believed to be a maker of perfume, wine & precious oils, and he was also known as the ‘Lord of blood & great slaughter’. According to the great Egyptian mythology, people believed that Shezmu produced grape juice for pharaoh’s wine, and he also crushed the heads of his enemies in that wine press.
In African culture, Yasigi is believed to be the beer Goddess, who is also associated with dance and masks.
According to the Czech legend, Radegast was believed to be the God of hospitality and mutuality. He was also associated with the creation of beer.
Disclaimer: The above-mentioned legends and myths from ancient cultures & religions are purely for informative and entertainment purpose for our readers.