I got what I needed out of the Dionysiaca, in terms of the narrative of Semele’s apotheosis. However, as I was studying that text, I found myself resisting the urge to expound on the important themes in this text surrounding the idea of marriage between humans and deities.
I think it’s important to understand the author, a little, and to get some context. Nonnus is a relative late-comer, as a contributor to the Greek Mythos. He begins writing his Dionysiaca shortly after the death of the last Pagan Emperor of Rome, and was extremely learned in both Traditional Hellenic and Christian theology. His other great work which survives is his “Metabole kata Ioannou” or paraphrase of the Book of John (One of the Four Gospels).
Living in the era he lived in, knowing what he knew, he could not but be aware of the contrast between the two faiths…
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