Sirens: Greek Mythology

A brief description of the lore of sirens.


Sirens were sea nymphs that have the head of a female human and the body of a bird. Sirens were said to sing so seductively as to unbearably entice sailors passing by to their island of residence to stay there forever to die. They lived on the isolated island of Faiakes which is full of the bones of sailors unable to resist the siren’s song. Faiakes is found in the northeastern area of the Island of Corfu. Sirens were primarily mentioned by the famous, Greek poet Homer in one of his best known works, The Odyssey. In the Odyssey, there were two sirens. The epic, recalls the tale of Argonauts who escaped the sirens when the quick witted Orpheus used his lyre to sing a song which drowned out the enchanting voice of the sirens. Another time Odysseus knew the sirens would try to lure him and his crew in. The crew blocked their ears with wax while Odysseus tied himself to the mast of the ship. Even though Odysseus wanted to he could not follow the song. The Sirens in despair that they could not deceive Odysseus threw themselves into the water and downed. The sirens were mentioned as the daughters of Phorcys or the god of storms, Achelous. If I was a Siren I would sparingly share my gift of singing with humans but not cruelly enchant them to their deaths.

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