Silenus was the rustic god of wine-making and drunkenness, and the companion and tutor to the wine god Dionysus.

Residence: The Earth
Symbols: Wine, grapes, donkey
Parents: Pan

Sileno del 100-150 con testa di età flavia, da originali del primo ellenismo della cerchia di lisisppo.JPG
Statue of Silenus. Vatican Museum. (c) Sailko

He was the foster-father of the god Dionysus, who was entrusted to his care by Hermes after his birth from the thigh of Zeus. The young god was raised by Silenus and nursed by the Nysiad nymphs in a cave on Mount Nysa.

Once, when Dionysus was travelling through Phrygia, Silenus became lost and was captured by King Midas. The king treated him hospitably and as a reward Dionysus granted him his golden touch.

Roman mosaic with the mask of Silenus.
Roman fresco of Dionysus and Silenus, c. 30 BC, from Boscoreale. British Museum.
Detail of a Paestan red-figure krater, c. 360-350 BC, depicting Silenus pulling a wagon of Dionysus and a Maenad. (c)

Back to Rustic Gods