In Greek mythology, a daughter of Cadmus and Harmonia, and the mother of Dionysus. When Semele became the lover of Zeus, Hera was enraged, and she coaxed Semele into asking to see the god in all his splendour. Having promised to grant Semele's every wish, Zeus was forced to comply. The thunderbolts emanating from him destroyed Semele, but Zeus rescued the unborn Dionysus from the ashes. Some stories hold that Dionysus later descended into Hades and brought Semele back to take her place among the immortals.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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