Bacchus, also known as Dionysus was the Greek God of wine. He was also seen as the promoter of civilization, peace, agriculture and theatre. He is often depicted in a sexually ambivalent manner perhaps due to his colorful upbringing. He was the product of an illicit affair between the God Zeus and the mortal woman Semele. Seeking to hide his infidelity from his wife Hera, Zeus placed the child in the care of surrogate parents and instructed them to disguise him as a girl to further protect him from Hera's jealous wrath.
His patronage of wine also led to Bacchus's representation of wanton revelry or release from onesself. Debauchery filled festivals called Bachanale were held in honor of this God as often as five times a month. These festivals represented a release from earthly concerns and responsibilities, perhaps even from traditional male and female family and sexual roles.