Some say by water, others by fire

I almost forgot: as an addendum to this post – there is a variant tradition that instead of Parnassos Deukalion and his wife sought refuge on Mount Aetna in Sicily:

When the cataclysm which we call the flood or deluge occurred, all the human race perished except Deucalion and Pyrrha, who fled to Mount Etna, which is said to be the highest mountain in Sicily. When they could not live on account of loneliness, they begged Jove either to give men, or to afflict them with a similar disaster. Then Jove bade them cast stones behind them; those Deucalion threw he ordered to become men, and those Pyrrha threw, to be women. Because of this they are called laos, ‘people,’ for stone in Greek is called las. (Hyginus, Fabulae 153)

There’s always an epilogue in Italy, at least when Dionysos is involved. It’s even been said that the place is dearer to him than his own Nysa:

This is Vesuvius, green yesterday with viny shades; here had the noble grape loaded the dripping vats; these ridges Bacchus loved more than the hills of Nysa; on this mount of late the Satyrs set afoot their dances; this was the haunt of Venus, more pleasant to her than Lacedaemon; this spot was made glorious by the fame of Hercules. All lies drowned in fire and melancholy ash; even the High Gods could have wished this had not been permitted them. (Martial, Epigrams IV.44)

You know what else Dionysos loves?

His brother.

With the posts here, here and here I don’t want to imply that Dionysos stole Hebe the immortal wife of Herakles away from him. He just borrowed her.

Not only are the two sons of Zeus really close friends who share a great deal – including the fabled lion-skin – but there’s a whole lot more to the story than you’re likely to find in Bullfinch or D’Aulaires.

For instance, did you know that in Etruscan myth it is Herakles (or rather Hercle) not Theseus who braves the Labyrinth to win the hand of Ariadne (otherwise known as Esia) facing down the terrible Minotaur (whom they call Θevrumineś) to do so? (Their version of the story of Ikarios is also radically different from that of the Athenians.)

So basically what that means is that Dionysos had history with Hebe before she was given in marriage by Zeus to Herakles (contrary to the wishes of Hera) just like Ariadne had history with Herakles before she was claimed on Naxos by Dionysos, and none were willing to let societal norms or even the machinations of other Gods get in the way of that, let alone ruin their friendship.

And that is a lovely note to end things on. (Especially since the rest of the story is deeply unsettling and not something I share in public.)