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SEMELE

Also known as THYONE

Daughter of King Cadmus of Thebes and Harmonia. After being fondled by an invisible something she found herself pregnant with an alcoholic sex addict. What are the chances?

True to sneaky secretive form and reluctant to follow any kind of courting etiquette (again!) Zeus went to Semele in the dark of night totally invisible, and when she felt something brush against her inner thigh it wasn't the warm evening breeze. He gave her the night of her life but word soon got around about her night of nookie with a divine prescence and Hera was onto the scent in no time.

Now, Hera was no slouch in the shapeshifting department herself and after putting two and two together and coming up with her husband she payed a little visit to Semele disguised as her trusted nurse, Beroe, asking some very valid questions ...

"if your lover was invisible how can you be certain that he isn't some kind of ugly monster?' And she had a point.

When Zeus arrived for his nightly slap and tickle Semele kept her nightie well and truly on until Zeus promised to grant her one wish. Zeus had made promises before and broken them just as quickly but this one was different. In another cunning move by Hera, she advised Semele to make Zeus swear on the Styx that he would show her his true form because she knew that the great river didn't take too kindly to being sworn at, especially if you don't keep your word.

Zeus reluctantly honored his promise, appeared in all of his glory and Semele was instantly burnt to cinders. Oh dear, she wasn't expecting that, but Hera was.

Hermes managed to rescue the unborn Dionysus from Semele and stitch him into the thigh of Zeus until he was ready to be born and several booze ups and orgies later he was sober enough to bring his charred mother back from the Underworld.

He renamed her Thy-one, which was a nice touch bearing in mind his unorthodox artificial womb made him the thigh-one (or maybe i'm reading too much into it!) and they ascended to Mount Olympus where Semele claimed immortality from Zeus.
Family Tree ...
Parents : King Cadmus of Thebes and Harmonia
Spouse : Don't know, sorry
Offspring : Dionysus
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'SEMELE' - Greek entry : 26 April 2007
Page last modified on 27 Mar 2013
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