"There was 'no god more present' than Dionysos: that is, out of all the ancient gods Dionysos was one of the few who people felt that they could reach out and touch" ~ Chapter 4: A God of Many Forms Dionysos: Exciter to Frenzy is a phenomenal scholarly exploration of one of the most complex, liminal and paradoxical gods of the ancient world. In this journey through the realms of Dionysos, the author Vikki Bramshaw guides the reader through the mysterious world of the multifaceted Dionysos, revealing his hidden faces and forms, demonstrating his presence in different cultures, the growth cycles of nature, the establishment of theatre and even the ancient Greek calendar. The roots of the wine god Dionysos, like his vines, spread throughout the ancient world. From the Cretan Zagreus, to the Thracian Sabazios and the Egyptian Iachen, his stories permeated the myths and traditions of both the untamed wilderness and the culture of cities such as Athens. Joined by slaves and rulers, wild flesh-ripping Maenads and vegetarian Orphics, wine-makers and hunters, the thrice-born Dionysos danced his way through the challenges of rebirth and initiation, with the liberating ecstasy of trance and possession. The god Dionysos unites opposites, he is many-formed, dying yet eternal, chthonian and heavenly. His ancient myths, mystical symbols, pagan rites and incarnations represent a uniquely detailed and relevant perspective of the transformation he brings through prophecy and personal liberation which is still relevant today.