This is a challenge to post every day in April (except on Sundays) blogging thematically from A to Z. Go HERE for details. My A-Z theme this year is Greek Mythology inspired by the book The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan that I recently read. Please be aware that what I write
is my interpretation of my findings and may not necessarily be accurateare straight quotes.
Also, "Featured Book" at the end of these posts are books I've reviewed in this book blog, coinciding with the letter of the day.
- Sirens are seductive female creatures who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island.
- Best known for their part in the Odyssey where their song lured sailors to their death.
- Odysseus ordered his crew to plug their ears with wax (on the advice of Circe) so as not to be lured by the Sirens' song.
- In another story, the story of the Argonauts, Orpheus sang sweetly enough to keep the men from succumbing to the Sirens.
- There were either two or three Sirens, who were the daughters of the sea god Phorcys or the river god Achelous.
- Depicted as birds with either the heads, or the entire upper bodies of women.
- In mosaic art they were depicted with just bird legs.
- The companions of young Persephone and were given wings by Demeter to search for Persephone when she was abducted. However, the Fabulae of Hyginus has Demeter cursing the Sirens for failing to intervene in the abduction of Persephone.
- Might be called the Muses of the lower world, Walter Copland Perry observed: "Their song, though irresistibly sweet, was no less sad than sweet, and lapped both body and soul in a fatal lethargy, the forerunner of death and corruption."
- Their song is continually calling on Persephone. The term "siren song" refers to an appeal that is hard to resist but that, if heeded, will lead to a bad conclusion.
- Later writers have inferred that the Sirens were anthropophagous, based on Circe's description of them "lolling there in their meadow, round them heaps of corpses rotting away, rags of skin shriveling on their bones."
- As Jane Ellen Harrison notes of "The Ker as siren:" "It is strange and beautiful that Homer should make the Sirens appeal to the spirit, not to the flesh.
- "They are mantic creatures like the Sphinx with whom they have much in common, knowing both the past and the future," Harrison observed.
- "Their song takes effect at midday, in a windless calm. The end of that song is death."
- That the sailors' flesh is rotting away, though, would suggest it has not been eaten. It has been suggested that, with their feathers stolen, their divine nature kept them alive, but unable to feed for their visitors, who starved to death by refusing to leave.
- According to Hyginus, sirens were fated to live only until the mortals who heard their songs were able to pass by them
Sense and Nonsense
Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas by James Patterson
My Rating: 4