Greek - A princess of Thebes. Daughter of Cadmus and Harmonia. Sister of Agave, Autonoe, Ino. She was the mother of Dionysus by Zeus and, at the instigation of Hera in the guise of Semele's old nurse, Beroe, foolishly demanded that he show himself to her in all his full glory and died before the divine light. Her unborn baby was placed by Hermes in the thigh of Zeus or, in some stories, Zeus himself saved the child by inserting it into his own side. In either event, the child, Dionysus was born at full term and, years later, descended to Tartarus and successfully demanded that Hades release the mother he had never seen. She was carried up to Olympus and, though a mortal, was received by the gods and deified by Zeus. Thereafter she was known as Thyone. Another story says that Dionysus was born in the normal fashion but, when Semele claimed that Zeus was the father, Cadmus cast both Semele and her son adrift in a chest. Semele died but Dionysus was saved and reared by Ino. Sometimes referred to as Semele, Fauna, Fauna, Fatua, Faula, Good Goddess, Maia Maiesta, Maiesta, Oma, Maia, Greek Damia, Thyone, Thyone, 'the raving queen', Dione, Keraunia, Keraunia, Stimula, Stimula, Phrygian Zemelo, Phrygian Zemelo, Zemesmate, Zemlya, Zemyna, Roman Fauna, Roman Fauna, Damia, Zagreus, Zagreus, Dionysus, Zeus or Greek Dionysus.

Nearby Myths