The Library of History

Page 122

Page 122 But as for Dionysus bred up in Nysa, and instructed in the most learned Arts and Sciences, he grew not only eminent for the Strength and Beauty of his Body, and Endowments of his Mind, but for his Inventions of things useful for Man's Life. For while he was but as yet a meer Boy, he found out the nature and use of Wine, discovering the pressing of the Clusters of the Vine, and drying of the Grapes, to the end to store them up for future use. He found out likewise what Ground was most proper for the planting of every thing, and in hopes of attaining unto Immortal Honour for the great Benefits and Advantages of those things by him discover'd, he communicated his Inventions to Mankind.

When his Fame and Glory was nois'd abroad in every Place, Rhea (it's said) inrag'd at Ammon, endeavour'd to seize Dionysus: But being disappointed in her Design, she forsook Ammon, and returning to her Brother the Titans, Marry'd her Brother Saturn, who at the instigation of Rhea, with the other Brothers, made War upon Ammon, and in a Battel routed him. That Ammon by reason of Famine was forc't to fly into Crete, and marry'd Geta, one of the Daughters of the Curati, then reigning there, and with her gain'd the Sovereignty of the Island, and call'd it after his Wife's Name Gete, which was before called Idea.

Saturn they say, having gain'd the Kingdom of Ammon, govern'd cruelly, and marcht with an Army to Nysa against Dionysus, who hearing of the routing of his Father, and the Confederacy of the Titans against him, rais'd Souldiers in Nysa, Two Hundred of which were bred up with him, who as they were eminent for Valour, so they were great Lovers of Dionysus. He confederated likewise with the Neighbouring Lybians, Africans and the Amazons, of whom we have before related, that they were both valiant, and us'd to send great Forces abroad in other Countries, and had brought many Parts of the World under their Dominion. They were brought (they say) into this Confederacy chiefly for the sake of Minerva, who minded the same way and course of Life as they did: For the Amazons were both Warriers and Virgins. The Army with Dionysus was divided into Two Bodies, the Men commanded by him, and the Women by Minerva; and in this Order they made a violent Charge upon the Titans: The Ingagement was very hot, and great numbers fell on both sides: At length upon a Wound given to Saturn, Dionysus gain'd the Day, who signaliz'd his Valour in this Battel above all others. The Titans then fled to the Places formerly belonging to Ammon, and Dionysus with a great number of Prisoners return'd to Nysa, where he surrounded them with his Souldiers, and then in an Harangue, accus'd the Titans; so that all thought they must every Man be put to the Sword: But forthwith pardoning them all, he gave them liberty either to go Home, or to take up Arms with him: Upon which they all chose to serve him, and upon the account of their suddain and surprizing Deliverance, all ador'd him as a God. Then giving to each of them a Cup of Wine, as a Sacred Pledge of their Fidelity, he caus'd them Man by Man to swear that they would serve him faithfully, and fight for him to the end of the War.

This Rite and Ceremony of pledging their Faith on both sides, by pouring out and drinking of Wine, being then first begun, was afterwards imitated by Posterity, and Truces and Leagues in times of War were called Libations.

Dionysus afterwards undertaking a War against Saturn, and marching out of Nysa with all his Forces for that purpose, they report that Aristaeus his Tutor, was the First that with great Solemnity offered Sacrifices to him as to a God. It's said the noblest of the Nysaeans, call'd Silenians, were his Companions. For Selenus was the First that reign'd in this Island, who is so very ancient, that none knows his Original: And forasmuch as he had a Tail growing out at his Rump, his Posterity partaking of his nature, had the same Badge. Dionysus therefore marcht away with his Army (and after much toyl and hazard for lack of Water passing through many Deserts, infested with wild Beasts) he came at length to Zabima a City of Lybia, and there encamp'd; near to this place he kill'd the Monster (the Spawn of Terra, call'd Campes, which had destroy'd many of the Inhabitants, for which he was in high Reputation among the People for his Valour. He rais'd a Mount of Earth over this Monstrous Beast he had kill'd, to the end to leave an everlasting Monument of his Valour to Posterity, which remains to this very day. Thence he marcht against the Titans, causing his Army

Bibliotheca Historica

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