Friday 08-29-08 SIRENS

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Friday 08-29-08 SIRENS

Post by AutumnSims on 29th August 2008, 5:52 pm





In early Greek mythology, sirens were actually prophets and described as having bodies of a bird and beautiful human heads. Some ancient myths say the sirens are the daughters of the river Achelous and the Muse of dancing, Terpsichore the "Whirler." The numbers and names of the sirens are inconsistent in classical mythology.

Homer mentions two Sirens, but only names one, Himeropa ("arousing face"). Elsewhere, there was said to be three Sirens - Thelchtereia ("enchantress"), Aglaope ("glorious face"), and Peisinoe ("seductress").

In Italy, they were named Parthenope ('virgin"), Leucosia ("white goddess"), and Ligeia ("bright-voiced").

One of them played the lyre, another sang, and another played the flute - luring mariners to crash their ships into the rocks.

The Sirens had in earlier times been companions of Persephone before she was ravished by Hades. After having sought for her in vain, they prayed that they would grow wings, which the gods granted. They also prayed that they might not loose their tuneful voices, and that was also granted by the gods, and since then, it is said, they sing in unison with the music of the Moerae.


It was prophesied when any ship was able to sail past their island without succumbing to the sweet song, the Sirens would leap into the sea and drown.

The Argonauts were accompanied by the god Orpheus and sailed past in the ship Argo, he was able to drown out their singing with his music so that only one man, Butes (some accounts say his name was Eryx), heard them and leapt overboard. The goddess Aphrodite loved Butes and saved his life.

In another tale, Odysseus escaped because on the advice of Circe, he blocked his men's ears with beeswax, and made them tie him to the foot of the mast so he could not be drawn away by the lure of the Sirens' song. When he begged to be released, the crew had orders to tighten his bonds.

In a legend about the Sirens and the Muses, it was said Hera, queen of the gods, persuaded the Sirens to enter a singing contest with the Muses. The Muses won the competition and then plucked out all of the Sirens' feathers and made crowns out of them.



Odysseus and the Sirens

Odysseus and the Sirens. The three sirens seek to lure Odysseus and his companions to their death with their melodious voices. However Odysseus has had himself securely bound to the mast of his ship while his companions row on with their ears stopped with bees-wax, thus unable to hear the sirens' song. Detail from a Greek red-figured stamnos from Vulci. Early fifth century B.C.

Reference: Encyclopedia Britannica

SIRENS Wikipedia

In Greek mythology the Sirens or Seirenes were Naiads (sea nymphs) who lived on an island called Sirenum scopuli, or in some different traditions,some place them on cape Pelorum others in the island of Anthemusa, and others again in the Sirenusian islands near Paestum, or in Capreae which was surrounded by cliffs and rocks.
Approaching sailors were drawn to them by their enchanting singing, causing them to sail on the cliffs and drown. They were considered the daughters of Achelous (by Terpsichore, Melpomene or Sterope) or Phorcys (Virgil. V. 846; Ovid XIV, 88).

Homer says nothing of their number, but later writers mention both their names and number ; some state that they were two, Aglaopheme and Thelxiepeia (Eustath. ad Horn. p. 1709) ; and others, that there were three, Peisinoe, Aglaope, and Thelxiepeia (Tzetz. ad LycopL7l2)> or Parthenope, Ligeia, and Leucosia (Eustath. /. c.; Strab. v. pp. 246, 252 ; Serv. ad Virg. Georg. iv. 562).

Their number is variously reported as between two and five, and their individual names as Thelxiepia/Thelxiope/Thelxinoe, Molpe, Aglaophonos/Aglaope, Pisinoe/Peisino�, Parthenope, Ligeia, Leucosia, Raidne, and Teles. According to some versions, they were playmates of young Persephone and were changed into the monsters of lore by Demeter for failing to intervene when Persephone was abducted (Ovid V, 551). The term "siren song" refers to an appeal that is hard to resist but that, if heeded, will lead to a bad result.

In early Greek art the Sirens were represented as birds with the heads, and sometimes chests, of women. Later, they were represented as female figures with the legs of birds, with or without wings playing a variety of musical instruments. The 10th century encyclopedia Suda says that from their chests up Sirens had the form of sparrows, below they were women, or, alternatively, that they were little birds with women's faces.

Birds were chosen because of their characteristic beautiful voice. However, later in history Sirens were sometimes also depicted as beautiful women (whose bodies, not only their voices, are seductive), or even as mermaids (half woman, half fish). The fact that in some languages (such as Spanish, French, Italian, Polish or Portuguese) the word for mermaid is Siren, Sirena, Syrena or Sereia adds to this confusion.

Odysseus escaped the Sirens by having all his sailors plug their ears with beeswax and tie him to the mast. He was curious as to what the Sirens sounded like. When he heard their beautiful song, he ordered the sailors to untie him but they ignored him. When they had passed out of earshot, Odysseus stopped thrashing about and calmed down, and was released (Odyssey XII, 39).

Jason had been warned by Chiron that Orpheus would be necessary in his journey. When Orpheus heard their voices, he drew his lyre and played his music more beautifully than they, drowning out their voices. One of the crew, however, the sharp-eared hero Butes, heard the song and leapt into the sea, but he was caught up and carried safely away by the goddess Aphrodite. It is said that after a ship successfully sailed by the Sirens, they threw themselves into the water to show protest. Varying traditions associate this event with their encounters with Jason or Odysseus, though the incident appears in neither Homer's Odyssey nor Apollonios Rhodios's Argonautika. Later the sirens killed the son of Odysseus, Telemachus. It is also said that Hera, queen of the gods, persuaded the Sirens to enter a singing contest with the Muses. The Muses won the competition and then plucked out all of the Sirens' feathers and made crowns out of them.
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Re: Friday 08-29-08 SIRENS

Post by Cryptid Luke on 30th August 2008, 10:26 am

women...

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Re: Friday 08-29-08 SIRENS

Post by HauntedHRM on 30th August 2008, 11:41 am

haha, great response!!
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Re: Friday 08-29-08 SIRENS

Post by AutumnSims on 31st August 2008, 4:22 pm

Lol couldn't say it better....
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Re: Friday 08-29-08 SIRENS

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