8.02.2011

Creature Spotlight: Siren

SIREN: A mythological creature with the head of a female and the body of a bird.



In Greek mythology, sirens inhabited islands with flowery meadows. They lured sailors to shipwreck by singing enchanting music. In the Odyssey, the Sirens are said to offer "knowledge...ripe wisdom and a quickening of the spirit" in the words of their song. The end of the song meant death.

Sirens were sometimes confused with mermaids, but mythology teaches that they are not maidens of the sea. Once Christian beliefs dissuaded a belief in literal sirens, this creature came to symbolize worldly temptations.




Square in your ship's path are Sirens, crying
beauty to bewitch men coasting by;
woe to the innocent who hears that sound!
He will not see his lady nor his children
in joy, crowding about him, home from sea;
the Sirens will sing his mind away
on their sweet meadow lolling.

-Song of the Siren, Odyssey, Homer



What mythical creatures are you curious about? Help me choose what to post on next in the comments section.

2 comments:

  1. Can I just say how glad I am that you point out mermaids and sirens are NOT the same thing? The MC in my first novel was a siren and the rampant misconception that they're the same drives me batty! Kind of a big pet peeve, so THANKS! :)

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