Greek mythology: the sirens and Ulysses

Greek mythology: the sirens and Ulysses

The image you normally have of the sirens is that of being half human half fish. But the Greek mermaids did not have exactly this shape nor did they act in the same way.

Who were the mermaids?

It was about hybrid geniusesbeings similar to nymphs and depending on the version of the myth there were three, five or even eight. They lived in the sea, close to what is Sicily. His shape was that of body of bird with woman's face, so they did not have fins, but wings to be able to fly, although later they were taken as beings with fish tails.

One of its main characteristics was its voice, since it had a immense sweetness and musicality. Thanks to your gift, they attracted sailors' ships; they were so enthralled with such beautiful music that they jumped off the ship to be able to hear better, perishing drowned in the waters.

However, there was someone capable of supporting the song of the sirens. Is about Ulises, who on his return home after the Trojan War had the misfortune of passing through the domains of these beings. Sirens had an obligation, and it was that if any man was able to hear them but he was not attracted to them, they must die.

To avoid their influence, Ulysses followed Circe's advice and ordered that all the men on the ship covered their ears with wax so as not to hear the song of the sirens. While this operation was taking place, Ulysses tied himself to the ship's mast with uncovered ears, without any wax. He ordered them to see what they see they will not untie him from the mast, as much as he begged.

When they passed through the area where the sirens began their song, none of the sailors suffered any damage, since they didn't hear anything. However, Ulysses, enchanted by the beautiful music, begged and implored to be releasedbut the sailors ignored him. Ulysses could hear the music without suffering any damage.

Faced with the rejection suffered, the sirens had no choice but to fulfill their obligation and one of them had to die. The chosen one was Parthenope, who jumped into the sea. Her body was washed ashore, where she was buried with great honors, and a small temple was also built in her honor around which a town was founded, Parténope, which time later would be Naples.

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Graduated in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication, since I was little I have been attracted to the world of information and audiovisual production. Passion for informing and being informed of what is happening in every corner of the planet. Likewise, I am pleased to be part of the creation of an audiovisual product that will later entertain or inform people. My interests include cinema, photography, the environment and, above all, history. I consider it essential to know the origin of things to know where we come from and where we are going. Special interest in curiosities, mysteries and anecdotal events in our history.


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