Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0
Dirigoboy

Sirens

9 posts in this topic

Aye, stay clear......

Definitions of a siren:

1. a woman-like creature who caused the wreck of ships and death of men by the use of their sweet singing and instrumental playing

2. a dangerous beautiful woman

3. Greek root meaning to bind or attach

4. something which makes a loud warning sound often found on police cars, ambulances and fire trucks

The sirens were the daughters of the sea god Phorcys or Achelous, the river god, and Malpomene, the muse of tragedy. They are most commonly referred to as the daughters of Achelous and Malpomene. There are many conflicts as to their number, their names, their appearance and the origin of that appearance. The most common names for the sirens are: [bibliography 4]

o Aglaophonos: one of brilliant voice

o Thelxepeia: one who uses words to enchant

o Peisino‘: the persuasive one

o Molpe: one with song

The most well known story of how the daughters of Achelous became sirens is that they were playmates with Persephone and when they refused to help search for her when she was abducted, they were turned into birds. Another story claims that Aphrodite turned them into birds because they wanted to remain virgins. [bibliography 7] Another version of the story states that the daughters were present when Persephone was ravished by Hades and bid Zeus for wings to pursue Hades. A final story claims the opposite of all the others so far in one aspect, the sirens lose their wings and do not gain them for some reason. This final story states that the sirens lost their wings when the Muses pulled them out because they had been challenged. The Muses banished the sirens, who because of this humiliation, left for the islands near the coast of Southern Italy. They occupied many islands, some of these being:

o Cape Peloris

o Capri

o Siren Isles

o isle of Anthemusa

No matter what the story, the most represented view of the sirens is as a bird with a woman's head. The sirens devoured sailors that happened to pass their islands and succumbed to their songs, however the Argonauts passed safely by as Orpheus outsang the sirens causing the sirens to throw themselves into the sea to die. The body of one of the sirens was washed back onto shore where many, many years later the city of Naples arose. [bibliography 5] The sirens, who lived in a flowery meadow on an island off the coast of Sicily, waited for ships to pass, were irresistible and lured men to their deaths. When a ship would pass, the sirens would sing and play music to attract the men. [bibliography 6]These men who listened to their songs could never leave and would therefore just die on the banks of the island. Only two ships have passed the sirens without falling victim to their singing, the ships of the Argonauts and Odysseus. Orpheus sang very loudly, overpowering the sirens in order to distract the crew so they would not listen to the sirens. One man jumped overboard, but Aphrodite brought him back to the ship and saved him from the fate of the sirens temptations, death. [bibliography 7]

In Homer's Odyssey, Odysseus is warned by Circe that he will pass the sirens island. She tells him to plug his men's ears with wax so they can not hear the sirens songs and to have them tie him tightly to the mast so he may listen if he wants to experience their seduction. The picture of the sirens attempting to seduce Odysseus and his crew from Women in Classical Mythology at Princeton University is a clear representation of this scene. Odysseus would have fallen in the sirens trap but for being tightly bound to the mast of the ship. Odysseus therefore chose to experience the sirens temptations and would have succumbed to the sirens but for his foresight to have his men bound him to the mast of the ship. The picture from the Geocities Athen Forum is another representation of this scene of Odysseus resisting the sirens temptations. Since he did not die, the sirens must since it was well known that a "Siren dies if a man successfully resists her charms." The sirens are often depicted as plunging head first into Odysseus' ship or the ocean after he has successfully resisted their temptations. The picture to the right depicts one of the sirens plunging head first into the ship because Odysseus has resisted her seduction. [bibliography 6]

Odysseus, strapped to the mast as he passes the Sirens.

Source: Geocities Picture Index The sirens voice was not the only cause of temptation for men. Their choice of words was the main temptation since they sung of how the men would be seen in the future after they died. In the Odyssey the sirens sing of the honor and glory that the men will be remembered as heroes of the Trojan War. The subject of these songs is therefore the dream of Greeks during this time; unceasing honor and glory. The sirens basically immortalize the men they are trying the seduce, but in reality they are trying to kill the men. The reasons as to why they are trying to kill men have been argued again and again. Many believe that the sirens consume the dead bodies, while others believe that the attraction or power they held over men was the only reason for luring men to their death. The sirens also lied to the men when they sang since they claimed that the men will leave wiser for having listened to their song. The song that the sirens sang to Odysseus tells Odysseus he will be wiser when he leaves, but all know this is a lie since he would die there if he succumbed. [bibliography 6]

Odysseus being tempted by the sirens

Source: Geocities Athens Forum

Return to link for Geocities Athen Forum picture

"Come closer, famous Odysseus - Achaea'spride and glory-moor your ship on our coast so you can hear our song! Never has any sailor passed our shores in his black craft until he has heard the honeyed voices pouring from our lips, and once he hears to his heart's content sails on, a wiser man. We know all the pains that Achaeans 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!" [bibliography 3]

As can be seen by the pile of body remains around the sirens islands that is depicted in every story, the sirens are associated with death and are therefore often found on grave markers or on objects found in graves. The three handled hydria was found in a grave in Kerameikos and strengthens the belief that sirens were associated closely with death. The Egyptian soul ba is very similar to the sirens in the sense that ba was a bird-headed woman which left the body of a dead person. [bibliography 6] The Orientals also have a soul-bird or ghost that stole into the living to share with it its fate of death. [bibliography 1] The sirens are also found on mirror stands for women to remind them that their beauty and powers of irresistibility are of voice and words as well as appearance.

http://www.arthistory.sbc.edu/imageswomen/...iren.html#link1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fascinating. They left the part out where the song they use is Didn't Leave Nobody But The Baby.

Just out of curiosity, what brought this splurge of cut-and-pasted information about?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Engleesh whaleur.....stop now.... or we weel destroy you"

as heard from a disctance from the deck of the SYREN (er ,HMS SUPRISE)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My keyboard...... :huh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I knows someth'n much more worse that be a 'woman-like creature who caused the wreck of ships and death of men' I do, much more worse indeed!

I call her; "me-X"

*shuder 'n tremble*

:huh:

'n I not be talk'n 'bout "x marks the spot" neither!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
as heard from a disctance from the deck of the SYREN (er ,HMS SUPRISE

IMG_0834-2.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Interesting...there are one or two threads hereabouts on Sea legends, creatures and Myths

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Interesting...there are one or two threads hereabouts on Sea legends, creatures and Myths

Really?? Where are they at? These bios are getting old :huh:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 0