The House of Dionysus

The joke around the office is, “A life of wine, Women and Song has caught up to Griffy, so he has to stop singing.” It’s true, too soon we get old, too late we get wise.

I think my first love is pretty well established, but today I want to talk about my other passion in life: travel.

In mid-October I departed on a cruise from Rome to Turkey, Cyprus, Israel, and Egypt. Thanks to Hurricane Sandy, a bonus week in Sicily was added. It was a great trip and a perfect opportunity to combine my two loves of wine and travel.

One of the places I visited was Paphos Cyprus. Now, there are many interesting things to see around Paphos. There is Perta tou Romiou, the mythical birth place of Aphphrodite the Greek goddess of love and beauty, which really caught my attention. According to Hesiod’s Theogony, she was born when Cronus cut off Uranus’ genitals (I know Too Much Information) and threw them into the sea, and from the sea foam (aphros) arose Aphrodite. The cult of Aphphrodite made Paphos a very important place in Greco-Roman times.

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So, around 2 to 4 AD some enterprising member of the wealthy class built a beautiful villa with fantastic mosaics with sense of Greek mythology mostly featuring Dionyus, the Greek god of the grape harvest or the god of wine! Dionysus is also known as Bacchus. This beautiful place is now known as the House of Dionysus.

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Back in it’s day this house would have been around 2,000 square feet with about 40 rooms. They used mosaics like we use rugs for decoration with the added advanage that mosaics last 2,000 years, try that with wall to wall carpeting! You can click on the pictures to make them bigger then click on back to return to the post.

The Four Seasons
The Four Seasons
The Victory of Dionysus that's me on the right!
The Victory of Dionysus that’s me on the right!

The best mosaic is in the Dinning Room it shows many mythical adventures of Dionysus and is called the “Victory of Dionysus”.

So why am I putting this in a wine blog? Because wine has been an intergual part human history for 6,000 years. The history of wine is the history of man kind, with limited bloodshed. Anyone who knows their history will known their wines. I encourge you to read more about Dionysus and the amazing parelles between him and Jesus.

Cypruss is a old wine country experiencing a resurgance in wine production with new world technogly. Currenlty they are the worlds 37th largest producer of wine. For a little island nation that’s pretty impressive. Soon we will be enjoying good qualtiy wine from Cypress and Dionysus will dance again!

I leave you with one of the most famous mosaics at the site “Ganymede being taken back to Olympus by an Egale.

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