Hoaxed! “Dionysus, the son of the virgin, … His blood, the blood of the grape…”

Roger Pearse | 8/2/2018 | Staff
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I got scammed today. Doesn’t happen that often. It was on twitter, and a very respectable person tweeted:

From his blood, Dionysus created the first grapes and so the drinking of wine was the drinking of the God’s blood. It’s not the only parallel between Dionysus and later religious figures.

Course

Of course I was all over this, and replied:

To which my friend replied:

Euripides

How about Euripides?

Well, there’s no arguing with that; and I expressed my thanks. Until a kindly stranger butted in and asked:

Translation - Name - Semele - Virgin

Why does your translation replace the name “Semele” with “virgin”?

Silly me, not to check. I googled, and quickly found the translation above given by “quote” sites; and also, ominously, by Christian-hating crank Tom Harpur in his 2007 book Water into Wine, p.125 (or so I find from Google Books).

Point - Perseus - Quote - English - Part

At this point, as any of us might, and I should have done first, I reached for Perseus. I quickly found the quote in the English, part of the speech by Tiresias in Bacchae line 266 here:

This new god, whom you ridicule, I am unable to express how great he will be throughout Hellas. For two things, young man, [275] are first among men: the goddess Demeter—she is the earth, but call her whatever name you wish; she nourishes mortals with dry food; but he who came afterwards, the offspring of Semele, discovered a match to it, the liquid drink of the grape, and...
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