The Libyan Account

In his universal history Diodoros of Sicily provides a number of competing accounts of the origin of Dionysos:

But since we have previously made mention, in connection with our discussion of Egypt, of the birth of Dionysus and of his deeds as they are preserved in the local histories of that country,​ we are of the opinion that it is appropriate in this place to add the myths about this god which are current among the Greeks. But since the early composers of myths and the early poets who have written about Dionysus do not agree with one another and have committed to writing many monstrous tales, it is a difficult undertaking to give a clear account of the birth and deeds of this god. For some have handed down the story that there was but one Dionysus, others that there were three,​ and there are those who state that there was never any birth of him in human form whatsoever.

After relating the various accounts that circulated in Greece, he goes on to provide a curious version from Africa in which Dionysos and Athene participate in the Titanomachy:

I am not unaware that also those inhabitants of Libya who dwell on the shore of the ocean lay claim to the birthplace of the god, and point out that Nysa and all the stories which the myths record are found among themselves, and many witnesses to this statement, they say, remain in the land down to our own lifetime; and I also know that many of the ancient Greek writers of myths and poets, and not a few of the later historians as well, agree with this in their accounts. Consequently, in order not to omit anything which history records about Dionysus, we shall present in summary what is told by the Libyans and those Greek historians whose writings are in accord with these and with that Dionysius​ who composed an account out of the ancient fabulous tales. For this writer has composed an account of Dionysus and the Amazons, as well as of the Argonauts and the events connected with the Trojan War and many other matters, in which he cites the versions of the ancient writers, both the composers of myths and the poets.

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