According to Greek mythology, one of the satyrs and companion of the wine god Dionysus. During a hunt, Ampelos rides a bull, is thrown off by it and trampled to death. To console Dionysus, Zeus transforms him into a vine. Dionysus first plants the vine in a bird's bone. When this becomes too small, he exchanges it for a lion's bone and finally for that of a donkey. In this way, Dionysus can take the vine with him wherever he goes and spreads it all over the world. Ampelos is the name of ampelography (grapevine science) and a mountain range (Ambelos) on Samos.
The Roman poet Ovid ( 43 BC to 8 AD) describes Ampelos in a Fasti (teaching poem) as the son of a nymph and a satyr who becomes the lover of Bacchus in the Greek countryside of Thrace. When Ampelos climbs a tree to pick grapes from a vine that has grown up there, he falls down and dies. Bacchus then transfers him to heaven as Vindemitor (bear guardian). See also under Wine customs and Wine gods.
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