In Greek mythology, Lycurgus was the king of the Edoni in Thrace, son of Dryas, the "oak", and father of a son whose name was also Dryas. He banned the cult of Dionysus. When Lycurgus heard that Dionysus was in his kingdom, he imprisoned Dionysus's followers, the Maenads, or drove them and Dionysus out of Thrace with an ox-goad. Dionysus fled, taking refuge in the undersea grotto of Thetis the sea nymph.
The compiler of Bibliotheke (3.5.1) says that as punishment, Dionysus drove Lycurgus insane. In his madness, Lycurgus mistook his son for a mature trunk of ivy, which is holy to Dionysus, and killed him, pruning away his nose and ears, fingers and toes. Consequently, the land of Thrace dried up in horror. Dionysus decreed that the land would stay dry and barren as long as Lycurgus was left unpunished for his injustice, so his people bound him and flung him to man-eating horses on Mount Pangaeüs. However, another version of the tale, transmitted in Servius's commentary on Aeneid 3.14 and Hyginus in his Fabulae 132, records that Lycurgus cut off his own foot when he meant to cut down a vine of ivy. With Lycurgus dead, Dionysus lifted the curse..