Web Theoi
METHE
 
Greek Name Transliteration Latin Spelling Translation
Μεθη Μηθη Methê, Mêthê Methe Drunknness (methê)

METHE was the Bakkhe (Bacchic) nymph of drunkeness, one of the companions of the god Dionysos. She was the wife of Staphylos ("Bunch of Grapes") and the mother of Botrys ("Grapes").

PARENTS
[1] DIONYSOS (The Anacreontea Frag 38)
[2] Mortal parents (Nonnus Dionysiaca 19.42)
OFFSPRING
[1] BOTRYS (by Staphylos) (Nonnus Dionysiaca 19.42)

The Anacreontea, Fragment 38 (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric II) (C5th B.C.) :
"Let us be merry and drink wine and sing of Bakkhos [Dionysos] . . . thanks to him Methe (Drunkeness) was brought forth, the Kharis (Grace) was born, Lupa (Pain) takes rest and Ania (Trouble) goes to sleep."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 27. 3 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"[In the sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidauros in Argolis:] Here there is also another work of Pausias, Methe (Drunkeness) drinking out of a crystal cup. You can see even in the painting a crystal cup and a woman’ face through it."

Pausanias, Description of Greece 6. 24. 8 :
"Here [in the market-place of Elis] is also a temple of Silenos, which is sacred to Silenos alone, and not to him in common with Dionysos. Methe (Drunkenness) is offering him wine in a cup."

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 19. 42 ff (trans. Rouse) (Greek epic C5th A.D.) :
[In Nonnus, Methe is the wife of Staphylos, the king of Assyria, and a friend of Dionysos. After her husband's death Dionysos lifts her spirits with wine:]
"Lord Bakkhos [Dionysos] encouraged Methe with laughing face, and thus he said to the wineloving queen: ‘My lady, giver of glorious gifts second only to golden Aphrodite, bestower of hearty good cheer, the joy of man and the mother of love, sit at the feast beside Lyaios [Dionysos] as he touches the feast! Be garlandbearer for Dionysos, even as Aphrodite, girdled with flowers and luxuriant clusters. The chaplets upon your hair shall make Nike jealous! I willmake you pourer of wine, next after Hebe goldenthrone. You shall rise a satellite star for Lyaios of the vine, ever by his side to serve the Bakkhanal cups, and man’s joy, the surfeit of wine, shall bear your name, Methe (Drunkenness). I will give the name of Botrys (Grapes) [i.e. the son of Methe and Staphylos] to the careconsoling fruit of my vintage, and I will call after Staphylos the carryberry bunch of grapes, which is the offspring of the gardenvines full of juicy liquor. Without Methe I shall never be able to feast, without Methe I will never rouse the merry revels.’
Such were his words. Then beside the tomb of reeling Staphylos, Dionysos the foe of mourning held a contest where no mourning was."
[N.B. This is a mythical elaboration of the Anacreon maxim above that grief (lupa) is soothed by drunkenness (methe).]

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 20. 11 ff :
"The vinegod called [Methe] the wife of Staphylos, wiped away the dirt and adorned her with a wine-coloured robe."

Nonnus, Dionysiaca 20. 123 ff :
"[Methe travelled to India in the company of Dionysos:] Methe his [Botrys'] mother was in a mulecart with silver wheels, and beside her was a white-robed maiden Phasyleia, who guided the team, flicking a golden whip over the mules' necks."


Sources:

  • Greek Lyric II Anacreontea, Fragments - Greek Lyric C5th B.C.
  • Pausanias, Description of Greece - Greek Travelogue C2nd A.D.
  • Nonnos, Dionysiaca - Greek Epic C5th A.D.