Parthenope (Siren)

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Parthenope
Spinacorona.jpg
The Fountain of the Spinacorona, a depiction of Parthenope in Naples.
GroupingMythological
Sub groupingSiren
ParentsAchelous and Terpsichore
MythologyGreek
CountryGreece
RegionSirenum scopuli
HabitatSeagirt meadows
Illustration of Parthenope from the Delle imprese trattato by Giulio Cesare Capaccio

Parthenope (Greek: Παρθενόπη) was one of the Sirens in Greek mythology. Her name means "Maiden-voiced".[1]:20

Myth[edit]

According to Greek legend, Parthenope was the daughter of the god Achelous and the Muse Terpsichore.[1]:35[2] She cast herself into the sea and drowned when her songs failed to entice Odysseus.[3][4]:293 Her body washed ashore at Naples, on the island of Megaride, where the Castel dell'Ovo is now located.[5] When people from the city of Cumae settled there, they named their city Parthenope in her honour.[6]

A Roman myth tells a different version of the tale, in which a centaur named Vesuvius was enamored with Parthenope. Angered, Jupiter turned the centaur into a stratovolcano and Parthenope into the city of Naples. Thwarted in his desire, Vesuvius' rage is manifested in the volcano's frequent violent eruptions.[7]

In literature and art[edit]

Parthenope has been depicted in various forms of literature and art, from ancient coins that bore her semblance[2] to the Fountain of the Spinacorona, where she is depicted quenching the fires of Vesuvius with water from her breasts.[8] In his Georgics, Virgil stated that he had been nurtured by Parthenope, writing:

At that time sweet Parthenope was nurturing me, Virgil, as I flourished in the pursuits of my inglorious leisure...

— Virgil, Georgics[4]:289

In addition, Parthenope has served as the inspiration for a number of other works, such as Manuel de Zumaya's Partenope and the ancient Greek novel Mētiokhos kai Parthenopē.[9] Also, several operas based on the myth of Parthenope were composed on the 18th century by Sarro (1722), Vinci (1725), Handel (1730), Vivaldi (1738) and Hasse (1767).

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Austern, Linda; Naroditskaya, Inna, eds. (2006). Music of the Sirens. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. ISBN 0-253-21846-2. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  2. ^ a b Spink & Son (1906). The Numismatic Circular and Catalogue of Coins, Tokens, Commemorative & War Medals, Books & Cabinets, Volume 14. Piccadily: Spink & Son. p. 9010. Retrieved 28 June 2014.
  3. ^ Facaros, Dana; Pauls, Michael (2007). Bay of Naples and Southern Italy. Cape Town, South Africa: New Holland Publishers. p. 21. ISBN 978-1-86-011349-9. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
  4. ^ a b Miles, Gary B. (1980). Virgil's Georgics: A New Interpretation. Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press. ISBN 0-520-03789-8. Retrieved 29 June 2014.
  5. ^ Lancaster, Jordan (2005). In the Shadow of Vesuvius: A Cultural History of Naples. London and New York: I.B. Tauris. p. 11. ISBN 1-85043-764-5. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  6. ^ Jansen, Laura, ed. (2014). The Roman Paratext: Frame, Texts, Readers. Cambridge UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 230. ISBN 978-1-107-02436-6. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  7. ^ Ledeen, Michael (2011). Virgil's Golden Egg and Other Neapolitan Miracles: an Investigation into the Sources of Creativity. New Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction Publishers. p. 37. ISBN 978-1-4128-4240-2. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  8. ^ "Fontana di Spinacorona (detta Fontana delle zizze)". CorpodiNapoli. Retrieved 30 June 2014.
  9. ^ Hägg, Thomas; Utas, Bo, eds. (2003). The Virgin and Her Lover: Fragments of an Ancient Greek Novel and a Persian Epic Poem. Leiden, Netherlands: Brill Publishers. p. 5. ISBN 90-04-13260-0. Retrieved 30 June 2014.