The seductive allure of the mythical Greek Sirens is legendary. Famed and renowned for their musical voices and instrument skills, the Sirens would lure sailors off their course, drawn by the music and enchanting voices, the sailors would be so distracted, they would often crash their ships and boats on rocky coastlines.
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The Sirens were cited as only two in Homer’s Odyssey but later tells have numbered them as anything from three to five, of course no one truly knows the number of the Sirens, their musical allure would have the beating heart of anyone that heard it and could not resist.
the Sirens would tempt their prey with enchanting songs and notes, luring them to their island, the music would be whimsical and twinged with sad but at the same time seductive tones. Because of their ability to draw sailors the sirens were often associated with death, but many tales talk of how the Sirens would not kill themselves. Instead the sailors if they survived the shipwreck would often find the music of the Sirens so seductive they would be unable to leave the island, or even move, as if transfixed by the sound.
“The sea was rough, and the waves raged at the ships hull, and as we reached what we thought could be the island to hold up from the coming storm, the deck hand heard a musical note roll off the waves. Instantly we shifted to the port to see if we could hear it too. There it was, and I thought it was pure myth. We all heard it now, and I knew straight away that the music was that of the Sirens. Many of the crew were fixed to their spot on the ship, leaning over the side to hear with more interest. I felt the same, I wanted to get closer, but as the ship’s captain I knew this was not the island to stop at. If we got much closer the Sirens would have us in the palm of their hands, or claws, legend had been told they were a mix of bird and woman, but at the same time incredibly alluring. Today would not be the day our ship would fall to the Sirens of the sea, we must find somewhere else to stop.”
The Features and Appearance of the Sirens
The Sirens sining to the sailors
While the Sirens have both been cited as being part women and part fish, and also part woman and part bird, neither can truly be confirmed, as near all who have seen the Sirens have perished as their musical prowess. The word Siren is many languages like Spanish, Portuguese, French and Italian is incredibly similar to mermaid is not a coincidence. However the tales of the sirens never allude to their mermaid qualities, and were considered to be land bearing women whose goal was to entice men to their island.
In other stories and poems from the Roman author Ovid, the Sirens are alluded too as bird like creatures, that were companions of Persephone, and used their wings to search for her when she was lost.
In much of the early Greek art that depicts Sirens, they are also imagined as part woman, part bird creatures, either featuring bird like wings, and in some cases even bird like claws instead of feet. Either way the appearance of the Sirens was not what drove men to be obsessed and fascinated with them, it was their mastery of music and their haunting voices.
The Mythology of the Greek Sirens
The Sirens have been covered by in mythology many times from the Greek poet Homer, who mentioned the Sirens in his Odyssey. They were also mentioned by Apollonius Rhodius in the Greek poem Argonautica, where Jason was warned about the lure of the Sirens, and that they would need to plan a strategy to avoid temptation from their music. Later the Sirens would be mentioned by Roman poets and many famous authors due to their interesting story, and alluring mythology.
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The Sirens to this day still remain one of the most interesting Greek mythological stories, and of course should you ever happen upon them, don’t forget to ensure you don’t listen to the song too long.
“At the bar in port we met a man, the look of love was in his eyes, ‘The Sirens he said, I saw them.’ Of course the man was drunk, we paid him little attention, but still he peddled his story. ‘Their music it stole my heart!’ he whispered to me as he looked forlorn into his ale. I had heard of the Sirens before myself, beastly creatures with the most beautiful music, that can stop a man from moving. Of course even now I didn’t believe they could exist, I guess I would have to see the Sirens for myself to know completely. The man piped up again ‘Take me back, back to the island, I want to hear the Sirens sing again it was so beautiful.’ He might make it back there one day but it wont be make who takes him.”