According to the usual tradition, he was born at Thebes - originally the local centre of his worship in Greece - and was the son of Zeus, the fertilizing rain god, and Semele, the daughter of Cadmus, a personification of earth.
In many of the Fungi the non-motile male cell or nucleus is carried by means of a fertilizing tube actually into the interior of the egg-cell, and is extruded through the apex in close proximity to the egg nucleus.
Yet the vast arid plains are covered with shallow beds of the richest soil, which only require the fertilizing power of water to render them available for pasture or agriculture.
Furthermore, agriculture is everywhere accompanied on the sand-grounds by the rearing of sheep and cattle, which assist in fertilizing the soil.
E., the connexions of the generative organs, lettering as above: o.d., o.d., oviducts; f., fertilizing canal; X 30.
What everybody echoes or in silence passes by as true to-day may turn out to be falsehood to-morrow, mere smoke of opinion, which some had trusted for a cloud that would sprinkle fertilizing rain on their fields.
The connexion of the rough Hephaestus with these goddesses is curious; it may be due to the beautiful works of the smith-god (xapLEVTa Epya), but it is possibly derived from the supposed fertilizing and productive power of fire, in which case Hephaestus is a natural mate of Charis, a goddess of spring, and Aphrodite the goddess of love.
Muller, it had its origin in the worship of Zeus Laphystius; the fleece is the pledge of reconciliation; Jason is a propitiating god of health, Medea a goddess akin to Hera; Aeetes is connected with the Colchian sun-worship. Forchhammer saw in it an old nature symbolism; Jason, the god of healing and fruitfulness, brought the fleece - the fertilizing rain-cloud - to the western land that was parched by the heat of the sun.
Of the Semitic peoples constituted a group of powers fertilizing the land with water-springs, the givers of corn and wine and oil, out of which under conditions of superior political development a high-god like the Tyrian Baal, the majestic City-King, might be evolved.
Zeus and Semele probably represent the fertilizing rain of spring, and the earth, afterwards scorched by the summer heat.