Nysa (mythology)

Nysa (Greek Νύσα ) is a place in Greek mythology. It is the name of the birthplace of the god Dionysus and the name of the plane where the abduction of Kore / Persephone ( mythology) took place.

Birth of Dionysus

Already Homer mentioned the mountain Nyseion ( Νυσήϊον ) as the place grew on the Dionysus under the protection of the nymphs. The mountain is named after Nysa, the nurse of Dionysus.

About a localization already was no agreement in antiquity. Many places that were associated with viticulture, associated and eventually named accordingly. Eustathius of Thessalonica locates Nysa in the Caucasus, but alternatively called Boeotia, Arabia, India and Libya. Stephanos of Byzantium mentions 10 cities named Nysa, some of which ( eg Nysa on the Meander ), others are mythical real.

A Nysa appears in Aithiopia Even in Herodotus. As was expected at that time Ethiopia to India, this Nysa therefore identified with the Indian Nysa of Dionysus, it was in the course of expanding the geographical horizon due to the Alexanderzugs close, the by Herodotus occupied Nysa in the now better-known India to locate: To Nysa appears in Arrian located as a very real city, between the rivers Indus and Kabul. Dionysus did after the conquest of India founded the city and named in honor of his nurse Nysa ( Νῦσα ). The nearby mountain Meros was named after the leg ( μηρός ) of Zeus, was born of the Dionysos (see thigh birth). The residents were not Indians, but descendants of companions of Dionysus and of the army, which had remained as disability in India. Accordingly, in modern times, there were similar dubious localization experiments ( eg at Swat, at Kabul, the Meros as Pamir, etc.)

In Pliny is Nysa with Scythopolis, one of the cities of the Decapolis in Syria identified. Indeed, there the worship of Dionysus seems to have had a special significance.

In connection with the Nyseion Mountains appear in the Dionysiaca of Nonnus of Panopolis in the confrontation between the coming of Carmel Dionysus and Lycurgus, the drives with an invincible battle- the nurses of Dionysus over the mountains and eventually forcing the god himself, in the sea at to take refuge Tethys. Lycurgus is in and for itself linked with Thrace, but at the turn of the 5th to 4th century BC, the myth seems transferred to Syria, where Lycurgus was eventually equated with an Arabic deity.

Abduction of Persephone

According to the Homeric Hymn was the Nysa is the name of the plane ( Νύσιον πεδίον Nysion pedion ), where the abduction of Kore, daughter of Demeter, by Hades, the ruler of the underworld took place. She played there with her ​​companions, the Oceanids, and picking flowers. At the command of Zeus there grew a wonderful, amazing flower, the daffodil. But when Kore bent down, the earth opened and Hades sprang out on his car. He grabbed the girl and pulled her down into the underworld, where he made ​​it to Persephone, the queen of the dead.


Another ambiguity brings Apollonius of Rhodes, the casually linked in the Argonautica the plain of Nysa with overcoming the monster Typhon by Zeus: The dragon guarding the Golden Fleece was, sprung from the rock of Typhon in the Caucasus of the earth, in the mountains and the plain of Nysa, where Typhon, overcome by Zeus, located in gangs under the Sirbonia lake, where the lake is located at the east end Sirbonische of the Nile Delta.