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June 19    Scripture



Mythology & Beliefs: Sirens
In Greek and Roman Mythology, Sirens were minor deities who lured sailors to destruction with their singing.

Sirenes in Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology Sire'nes or SEIRE'>NES (Σειρῆνες), mythical beings who were believed to have the power of enchanting and charming, by their song, any one who heard them. When Odysseus, in his wanderings through the Mediterranean, came near the island on the lovely beach of which the Sirens were sitting, and endeavouring to allure him and his companions, he, on the advice of Circe, stuffed the ears of his companions with wax, and tied himself to the mast of his vessel, until he was so far off that he could no longer hear their song (Hom. Od. 12.39, &c., 166, &c.). According to Homer, the island of the Sirens was situated between Aeaea and the rock of Scylla, near the south-western coast of Italy. 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 Hom. p. 1709); and others, that there were three, Peisinoe, Aglaope, and Thelxiepeia (Tzetz. ad Lycoph. 712), or Parthenope, Ligeia, and Leucosia (Eustath. l.c. ; Strab. v. pp. 246, 252; Serv. ad Virg. Georg. 4.562). They are called daughters of Phorcus (Plut. Sympos. 9.14), of Achelous and Sterope (Apollod. 1.7.10), of Terpsichore (Apollon. 4.893), of Melpomene (Apollod. 1.3.4), of Calliope (Serv. ad Aen. 5.364), or of Gaea (Eurip. Hel. 168). Their place of abode is likewise different in the different traditions, for some place them on cape Pelorum others in the island of Anthemusa, and others again in the Sirenusian islands near Paestum, or in Capreae (Strab. i. p.22; Eustath. ad Hom. p. 1709; Serv. l.c.). The Sirens are also connected with the legends about the Argonauts and the rape of Persephone. When the Argonauts, it is said. passed by the Sirens, the latter began to sing, but in vain, for Orpheus rivalled and surpassed them ; and as it had been decreed that they should live only till some one hearing their song should pass by unmoved, they threw themselves into the sea, and were metamorphosed into rocks. Some writers connected the self- destruction of the Sirens with the story of Orpheus and the Argonauts, and others With that of Odysseus (Strab. v. p.252; Orph. Arg. 1284; Apollod. 1.9.25; Hygin. Fab. 141). Late poets represent them as provided with wings, which they are said to have received at their own request, in order to be able to search after Persephone (Ov. Met. 5.552), or as a punishment from Demeter for not having assisted Persephone (Hygin. l.c.), or from Aphrodite, because they wished to remain virgins (Eustath. l.c. ; Aelian, Ael. NA 17.23; Apollon. 4.896). Once, however, they allowed themselves to be prevailed upon by Hera to enter into a contest with the Muses, and being defeated, they were deprived of their wings (Paus. 9.34.2; Eustath. ad Hom. p. 85). There was a temple of the Sirens near Surrentum, and the tomb of Parthenope was believed to be near Neapolis. (Strab. i. p.23, v. p. 246.) - A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology, William Smith, Ed.

Sirens in Wikipedia In Greek mythology, the Sirens (Greek singular: Σειρήν Seirēn; Greek plural: Σειρῆνες Seirēnes) were three dangerous bird- women, portrayed as seductresses who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island. Roman poets placed them on an island called Sirenum scopuli. In some later, rationalized traditions the literal geography of the "flowery" island of Anthemoessa, or Anthemusa,[1] is fixed: sometimes on Cape Pelorum and at others in the islands known as the Sirenuse, near Paestum, or in Capreae.[2] All such locations were surrounded by cliffs and rocks...

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