[wine ]. In Roman mythology the god of wine. He is represented as a beautiful youth with black eyes, golden locks, flowing with curls about his shoulders and filleted with ivy. In peace his robe was purple, in war he was covered with a panther's skin. His chariot was drawn by panthers.
The famous statue of Bacchus in the palace of Borghese (3 syl.) is represented with a bunch of grapes in his hand and a panther at his feet. Pliny tells us that, after his conquest of India, Bacchus entered Thebes in a chariot drawn by elephants.
The Etruscan Bacchus was called Esar or Nesar , the Umbrian Desar, the Assyrian Issus; the Greek Dion-ysus; the Galatian Nyssus; the Hebrew Nizziz; a Greek form was Iacchus (from Iache, a shout); the Latin Bacchus; other forms of the word are the Norse Eis; the Indian Ies; the Persian Yez; the Gaulish Hes; the German Hist; and the Chinese Jos.
As jolly Bacchus, god of pleasure, Charmed the wide world with drink and dances, And all his thousand airy fancies, Alas! he quite forgot the while His favourite vines in Lesbos isle.
“The jolly old priests of Bacchus in the parlour make their libations of claret.” —J. S. Le Fanu: The House in the Churchyard, p. 113.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894