Mythology/Dionysus

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Question
Young dionysus
Young dionysus  

Dionysus sculpture
Dionysus sculpture  
I have an 1860 Italian sculpture of Dionysus.
I understand he was an effeminate young man which the sculpture shows but I haven't found anything that explains the scene at the base of the sculpture. Hopefully you can see the young boy with sheep in the picture.
I would appreciate any information about the scene.

Thank you,
         Gary

Answer
This actually stymied me a bit at first, but after some looking around I think I found the answer you're looking for. You see, Dionysus is the Greek god of wine, and he quite possibly has Asiatic connections since he was known for being a god whose religion was carried as far east as India. He was often surrounded by nymphs and satyrs, often personified as earth divinities, and his religion possibly replaced much older rites known as the Eleusisan Mysteries. Late in his religion, he became a god of rebirth and regeneration and the lamb considered the symbol of renewal. His followers were likely among the first to use this symbolism and it was likely repeated in connection to the religious symbolism around the birth of Jesus Christ. I hope that makes sense to you.  

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William C. Uchtman

Expertise

I have done research into gods and goddesses and have written brief descriptions of them. I have attempted to scale out family trees as I have already seen with the Olympian gods. I have tried to condense entire pantheons by attributing extra names or aliases to one deity. I have also made efforts to parallel myths with ancient history. I am not an expert nor do I hold any degrees. I am a self-taught person with a lot of otherwise useless information.

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No real-world experience

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Former Mythology Expert to the Marvel Comics Appendix, former researcher to the Marvel Universe Handbooks

Publications
Contributor/Researcher to the Offifical Handbook of the Marvel Universe

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No such credentials/Self-Educated

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None so far

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