Greek Mythology >> Nymphs >> Oreads >> Methe


Greek Name

Μεθη Μηθη


Methê, Mêthê

Latin Spelling



Drunkenness (methê)

METHE was the goddess-nymph of drunkenness, a companion of the god Dionysos. She was the wife of Staphylos (Bunch of Grapes) and mother of Botrys (Grapes).


[1] DIONYSOS (The Anacreontea Frag 38)
[2] Mortal parents (Nonnus Dionysiaca 19.42)


[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 (Bacchus) [Dionysos] . . . thanks to him Methe (Drunkeness) was brought forth, the Kharis (Charis, 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 (Asclepius) at Epidauros in Argolis :] Here there is also another work of Pausias, Methe (Drunkenness) 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 (Silenus), 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.) :
"[According to Nonnus Methe was the wife of King Staphylos of Assyria and a friend of the god Dionysos. After the death of her husband Dionysos lifts her spirits with wine :]
Lord Bakkhos (Bacchus) [Dionysos] encouraged Methe (Drunkenness) 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 (Lyaeus) [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 (Victory) 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 myth elaborates on the Anacreon maxim (quoted 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."




A complete bibliography of the translations quoted on this page.