Today, Zagreus is considered a very obscure god, only appearing in a few lines, and only in lost works. But was this different in ancient Greece? Or it was really very obscure? Some searches on the web suggest that it was just an alternative name for Dionysus, but this may be wrong.

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Yes, Zagreus was known in antiquity, chiefly because he was equivalent to an aspect of Dionysus. As Zagreus, he wasn't the most popular god, and isn't overly present in literature, but he had an important role in the mysteries and was, as Jane Harrison notes, more associated with ritual.

You can see all the references to him in literature with Theoi's page on Zagreus.

He is attested early, too. He is not only mentioned in a fragment of Aeschylus (as Theoi collects), who stood at the beginning of the Classical period, but also in the Alcmaeonis, an early 6th century work. He also appears in some lost works of Euripides and a fragment of Callimachus.

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