Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca E7.
Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 4. Rieu Greek epic C3rd B.
Lycophron, Alexandra ff trans. Mair Greek poet C3rd B. One of them. And Leukosia Leucosia. Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae trans. Grant Roman mythographer C2nd A. Nonnus, Dionysiaca Rouse Greek epic C5th A. Suidas s. Seirenas trans. Euripides, Helen ff trans. But now, half human and half bird in form, they spent their time watching for ships from a height that overlooked their excellent harbour; and many a traveller, reduced by them to skin and bones, had forfeited the happiness of reaching home. It was predicted that they would live only until someone who heard their singing would pass by.
Ovid, Metamorphoses 5. Melville Roman epic C1st B. Yet to reserve that dower of glorious song, their melodies' enchantment, they retained their fair girls' features and their human voice. Pausanias, Description of Greece 9. Jones Greek travelogue C2nd A. For the story goes that the daughters of Akheloios Achelous were persuaded by Hera to compete with the Mousai Muses in singing.
The Mousai won, plucked out the Seirenes' feathers and made crowns for themselves out of them. Pearse Greek mythographer C1st to C2nd A. The only one to swim off to them was Butes, whom Aphrodite snatched up and settled at Lilybaeum. The Seirenes, hoping to add the Argonauts to these, made haste to greet them with a liquid melody; and the young men would soon have cast their hawsers on the beach if Thrakian Orpheos Orpheus had not intervened.
Raising his Bistonian lyre, he drew from it the lively tune of a fast-moving song, so as to din their ears with a medley of competing sounds. The girlish voices were defeated by the lure; and the set wind, aided by the sounding backwash from the shore, carried the ship off. The poor man swam through the dark swell making for the shore, and had he landed, they would soon have robbed him of all hope of reaching home. But Aphrodite, Queen of Eryx, had pity on him.
She snatched him up while he was still battling with the surf; and having saved his life, she took him to her heart and found a home for him on the heights of Lilybaion. Pseudo-Hyginus, Fabulae 14 trans.
Venus [Aphrodite] saved him at Lilybaeum, as he was borne along by the waves. Seneca, Medea ff trans. Miller Roman tragedy C1st A. Homer, Odyssey Shewring Greek epic C8th B. If a man in ignorance draws too close and catches their music, he will never return to fine wife and little children near him and to see their joy at his homecoming; the high clear tones of the Seirenes will bewitch him.
They sit in a meadow; men's corpses lie heaped up all round them, mouldering upon the bones as the skin decays. You must row past there; you must stop the ears of all your crew with sweet wax that you have kneaded, so that none of the rest may hear the song. But if you yourself are bent on hearing, then give them orders to bind you both hand and foot as you stand upright against the mast-stay, with the rope-ends tied to the mast itself; thus you may hear the two Seirenes' voices and be enraptured.
If you implore your crew and beg them to release you, then they must bind you fast with more bonds again. When your crew have rowed past the Seirenes.
I will tell you of them, so that in full knowledge we may die or in full knowledge escape, it may be, from death and doom. Her first command was to shun the Seirenes Sirens --their enchanting notes, their flowery meadow. I alone was to hear their song, she said. You for your part must bind me with galling ropes as I stand upright against the mast-stay, with the rope-ends tied to the mast itself; then I shall stay there immovably. And if I beg and beseech you to set me free, you must bind me hard with more ropes again.
Meanwhile the trim ship sped swiftly on to the island of the Seirenes, wafted still be the favouring breeze.
Then of a sudden the wind dropped and everything became hushed and still, because some divinity lulled the waters. My men stood up, furled the sails and stowed them in the ship's hold, then sat at the thwarts and made the sea white with their polished oars of fir. I myself, with my sharp sword, cut a great round of wax into little pieces and set about kneading them with all the strength I had. Under my mighty hands, and under the beams of the lordly sun-god [Helios] whose father is Hyperion, the wax quickly began to melt, and with it I sealed all my comrades' ears in turn.
Then they bound me fast, hand and foot, with the rope-ends tied to the mast itself, then again sat down and dipped their oars in the whitening sea. Pause with your ship; listen to our song. Never has nay man passed this way in his dark vessel and left unheard the honey-sweet music from our lips; first he has taken his delight, then gone on his way a wiser man. We know of all the sorrows in the wide land of Troy that Argives and Trojans bore because the gods would needs have it so; we know all things that come to pass on the fruitful earth.
I twitched my brows to sign to the crew to let me go, but they leaned to their oars and rowed on; Eurylokhos Eurylochus and Perimedes quickly stood up and bound me with more ropes and with firmer hold. But when they had rowed well past the Seirenes--when music and words could be heard no more--my trusty comrades were quick to take out the wax that had sealed their ears, and to rescue and unbind myself.
But the island was hardly left behind when I saw smoke above the heavy breakers and heard a great noise [the whirlpool of Kharybdis Charybdis ]. One played the cithara, the second sang, and the third played the flute, and in this manner they used to persuade passing sailors to remain with them. From the thighs down they had the shape of birds. As Odysseus sailed past, he wanted to hear their song, so, following Kirke's Circe's instructions, he plugged the ears of his comrades with wax, and had them tie him to the mast, When the Sierenes persuaded him to stay with them, he begged to be set free, but his men tied him even tighter, and thus he sailed past.
An oracle had said that the Seirenes would die if a ship ever made it past them; and indeed they died. What half-maiden Fury-hound [Skylla Scylla ]? What barren nightingale [Seiren Siren ], slayer of the Kentauroi Centaurs , Aitolis or Kouretis Curetis , shall not with her varied melody tempt them to waste away through fasting from food?
The Kenaturoi who escaped Herakles were charmed by the song of the Seirenes and forgetting to eat all perished. Lycophron, Alexandra ff : "And he [Odysseus] shall slay the triple daughters [Seirenes Sirens ] of Tethys' son [Akheloos Achelous ], who imitated the strains of their melodious mother [Melpomene]: self-hurled from the cliff's top they dive with their wings into the Tyrrhenian Sea, where the bitter thread spun by the Moirai the Fates shall draw them.
Athenaeus, Deipnosophistae 1. Gullick Greek rhetorician C2nd to C3rd A. It was their fate to live only so long as mortals who heard their song failed to pass by. Would like to see more in this series! All three in this series are great quick reads.
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It takes Odysseus ten years to reach Ithaca after the ten-year Trojan War. After a failed piratical raid on Ismaros in the land of the Cicones , Odysseus and his twelve ships were driven off course by storms. 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. The wanderings of Odysseus as told to the Phaeacians, and the location of the Phaeacians' own island of Scheria , pose more fundamental problems, if geography is to be applied: scholars, both ancient and modern, are divided as to whether or not any of the places visited by Odysseus after Ismaros and before his return to Ithaca are real. After leaving Calypso's island, the poet describes Odysseus' encounters with the Phaeacians—those who "convoy without hurt to all men"  —which represents his transition from not returning home to returning home. Click here Would you like to report this content as inappropriate? Her island, Aeaea , is located at the edges of the world and seems to have close associations with the sun.
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