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The_Sirens_Of_Greek_Mythology_-_(Greek_Mythology_Explained)

The Sirens Of Greek Mythology - (Greek Mythology Explained)

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Sirens in Greek Mythology

Sirens are similar to Mermaids and Harpies.

Appearance[]

Sirens were believed to combine women and birds in various ways. In early Greek art, Sirens were represented as birds with large women's heads, bird feathers and scaly feet. Later, they were represented as female figures with the legs of birds, with or without wings, playing a variety of musical instruments, especially harps and lyres.

The tenth-century Byzantine encyclopedia Suda says that from their chests up, Sirens had the form of sparrows, and below they were women or, alternatively, that they were little birds with women's faces.[7] Birds were chosen because of their beautiful voices. Later Sirens were sometimes depicted as beautiful women, whose bodies, not only their voices, are seductive.

Originally, Sirens were shown to be male or female, but the male Siren disappeared from art around fifth century BC.[8]

The first-century Roman historian Pliny the Elder discounted Sirens as pure fable, "although Dinon, the father of Clearchus, a celebrated writer, asserts that they exist in India, and that they charm men by their song, and, having first lulled them to sleep, tear them to pieces."[9] In his notebooks, Leonardo da Vinci wrote of the Siren, "The siren sings so sweetly that she lulls the mariners to sleep; then she climbs upon the ships and kills the sleeping mariners."

Sirens and death[]

Statues of Sirens in a funerary context are attested since the classical era, in mainland Greece, as well as Asia Minor and Magna Graecia. The so-called "Siren of Canosa" – Canosa di Puglia is a site in Apulia that was part of Magna Graecia – was said to accompany the dead among grave goods in a burial. She appeared to have some psychopomp characteristics, guiding the dead on the after-life journey. The cast terracotta figure bears traces of its original white pigment. The woman bears the feet, wings and tail of a bird. The sculpture is conserved in the National Archaeological Museum of Spain, in Madrid.

MissionOdyssey

The Sirens were called the Muses of the lower world, classical scholar Walter Copland Perry (1814–1911) 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."[42] 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 implied that the Sirens were cannibals, 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."[43] As linguist Jane Ellen Harrison (1850–1928) 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."[44] The siren song is a promise to Odysseus of mantic truths; with a false promise that he will live to tell them, they sing, Once he hears to his heart's content, sails on, a wiser man.
We know all the pains that the Greeks and Trojans once endured
on the spreading plain of Troy when the gods willed it so—
all that comes to pass on the fertile earth, we know it all![45] "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."[46] That the sailors' flesh is rotting away, suggests it has not been eaten. It has been suggested that, with their feathers stolen, their divine nature kept them alive, but unable to provide food for their visitors, who starved to death by refusing to leave.[47]

Primarina

Primarina, a Gen 7 Pokemon, has similar traits to the siren.

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