Semele

Semele

Semele was a princess of Thebes in Greek mythology, daughter of the hero Cadmus and Harmonia. She was the only mortal to become the parent of a god.

 

Zeus fell in love with Semele while watching her sacrifice a bull on his altar and visited her many times afterwards. When Semele became pregnant, Hera found out and jealous of her husband's affair, set out a plan to punish Semele. Hera appeared in a different form to Semele and they became friends; Semele later confided to the goddess about her affair with Zeus, but Hera made her doubt about it. So, Semele decided to ask Zeus to grant her a wish, and he took an oath on the river Styx that he would give her anything. She asked that he appear to her in all his glory; Zeus was forced to comply. However, mortals could not look upon Zeus without bursting into flames, which is what happened to Semele. Zeus managed to save the unborn baby by sewing it inside his thigh; a few months later, god Dionysus was born, who managed to save his mother from the Underworld and brought her to Mount Olympus, where she became the goddess Thyone.

More: Zeus, Hera, Dionysus