Moesia was an ancient region and Roman province situated in the Balkans south of the Danube River. It included most of the territory of modern-day Central Serbia and the northern parts of the modern North Macedonia, Northern Bulgaria and Romanian Dobrudja. In ancient geographical sources, Moesia was bounded to the south by the Haemus and Scardus mountains, to the west by the Drinus river, on the north by the Donaris and on the east by the Euxine; the region was inhabited chiefly by Thracians, Dacians and Thraco-Illyrian peoples. The name of the region comes from Moesi, Thraco-Dacian peoples who lived there before the Roman conquest. Parts of Moesia belonged to the polity of Burebista, a Getae king who established his rule over a large part of the northern Balkans between 82 BC and 44 BC, he led plunder and conquest raids across Central and Southeastern Europe, subjugating most of the neighbouring tribes. After his assassination in an inside plot, the empire was divided into several smaller states.
In 75 BC, C. Scribonius Curio, proconsul of Macedonia, took an army as far as the Danube and gained a victory over the inhabitants, who were subdued by M. Licinius Crassus, grandson of the triumvir and also proconsul of Macedonia during the reign of Augustus c. 29 BC. The region, was not organized as a province until the last years of Augustus' reign; as a province, Moesia was under an imperial consular legate. In 86 AD the Dacian king Duras ordered his troops to attack Roman Moesia. After this attack, the Roman emperor Domitian arrived in Moesia and reorganized it in 87 AD into two provinces, divided by the river Cebrus: to the west Moesia Superior - Upper Moesia, to the east Moesia Inferior - Lower Moesia; each was governed by a procurator. The chief towns of Upper Moesia in the Principate were: Singidunum, Remesiana, Bononia and Skupi; the last two were Greek towns which formed a pentapolis with Istros and Apollonia. From Moesia, Domitian began planning future campaigns into Dacia and by 87 he started a strong offensive against Dacia, ordering General Cornelius Fuscus to attack.
Therefore, in the summer of 87, Fuscus led six legions across the Danube. The campaign against the Dacians ended without a decisive outcome, Decebalus, the Dacian King, had brazenly flouted the terms of the peace, agreed on at the war's end. Emperor Trajan arrived in Moesia, he launched his first military campaign into the Dacian Kingdom c. March–May 101, crossing to the northern bank of the Danube River and defeating the Dacian army near Tapae, a mountain pass in the Carpathians. Trajan's troops were mauled in the encounter, he put off further campaigning for the year to heal troops and regroup. During the following winter, King Decebalus launched a counter-attack across the Danube further downstream, but this was repulsed. Trajan's army advanced further into Dacian territory and forced King Decebalus to submit to him a year later. Trajan was granted the title Dacicus; the victory was celebrated by the Tropaeum Traiani. However, Decebalus in 105 undertook an invasion against Roman territory by attempting to stir up some of the tribes north of the river against the empire.
Trajan took to the field again and after building with the design of Apollodorus of Damascus his massive bridge over the Danube, he conquered part of Dacia in 106. Sometime around 272, at the Moesian city of Naissus or Nissa, future emperor Constantine. After the abandonment of Roman Dacia to the Goths by Aurelian and the transfer of the Roman citizens from the former province to the south of the Danube, the central portion of Moesia took the name of Dacia Aureliana. During administrative reforms of Emperor Diocletian, both of the Moesian provinces were reorganized. Moesia Superior was divided in two, northern part forming the province of Moesia Prima including cities Viminacium and Singidunum, while the southern part was organised as the new province of Dardania with cities Scupi and Ulpiana. At the same time, Moesia Inferior was divided into Scythia Minor. Moesia Secunda's main cities included Marcianopolis, Nicopolis, Durostorum, Sexaginta Prista and Novae, all in Bulgaria today; as a frontier province, Moesia was strengthened by stations and fortresses erected along the southern bank of the Danube, a wall was built from Axiopolis to Tomi as a protection against the Scythians and Sarmatians.
The garrison of Moesia Secunda included Legio I Italica and Legio XI Claudia, as well as independent infantry units, cavalry units, river flotillas. The Notitia Dignitatum lists its units and their bases as of the 390s CE. Units in Scythia Minor included Legio I Iov
In Greek mythology, Aether is one of the primordial deities. Aether is the personification of the "upper sky", he embodies the pure upper air that the gods breathe, as opposed to the normal air breathed by mortals. Like Tartarus and Erebus, Aether may have had shrines in ancient Greece, but he had no temples and is unlikely to have had a cult. In Hesiod's Theogony, was the son of Erebus and Nyx, the brother of Hemera; the Roman mythographer says Aether was the son of Chaos and Caligo. According to Jan Bremmer, "Hyginus... started his Fabulae with a strange hodgepodge of Greek and Roman cosmogonies and early genealogies. It begins as follows: Ex Caligine Chaos. Ex Chao et Caligine Nox Dies Erebus Aether, his genealogy looks like a derivation from Hesiod, but it starts with the un-Hesiodic and un-Roman Caligo, ‘Darkness’. Darkness did occur in a cosmogonic poem of Alcman, but it seems only fair to say that it was not prominent in Greek cosmogonies."Hyginus says further that the children of Aether and Day were Earth and Sea, while the children of Aether and Earth were "Grief, Wrath, Falsehood, Vengeance, Altercation, Sloth, Pride, Combat, Themis, Pontus.
Aristophanes states. However, Damascius says that Aether and Chaos were siblings, the offspring of Chronos. According to Epiphanius, the world began as a cosmic egg, encircled by Time and Inevitability in serpent fashion. Together they constricted the egg, squeezing its matter with great force, until the world divided into two hemispheres. After that, the atoms sorted themselves out; the lighter and finer ones floated above and became the Bright Air and the rarefied Wind, while the heavier and denser atoms sank and became the Earth and the Ocean. See Plato's Myth of Er; the fifth Orphic hymn to Aether describes the substance as "the high-reigning indestructible power of Zeus," "the best element," and "the life-spark of all creatures." Though attributed to the mythological poet Orpheus who lived before the time of Homer, the composition of the hymns in the 6th-4th centuries BCE make them contemporary with natural philosophers, such as Empedocles, who theorized the material forces of nature as identical with the gods and superior to the anthropomorphic divinities of Homeric religion.
Bremmer, Jan N.. Greek Religion and Culture, the Bible and the Ancient Near East. Jerusalem Studies in Religion and Culture. Brill. ISBN 9789004164734. LCCN 2008005742. Gantz, Early Greek Myth: A Guide to Literary and Artistic Sources, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996, Two volumes: ISBN 978-0-8018-5360-9, ISBN 978-0-8018-5362-3. Grimal, The Dictionary of Classical Mythology, Wiley-Blackwell, 1996, ISBN 9780631201021. Hammond, N. G. L. and H. H. Scullard, The Oxford Classical Dictionary, Second Edition, Oxford University Press.. Hesiod, Theogony from The Homeric Hymns and Homerica with an English Translation by Hugh G. Evelyn-White, Cambridge, MA. Harvard University Press. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library. Greek text available from the same website. Hyginus, Fabulae from The Myths of Hyginus edited by Mary Grant. University of Kansas Publications in Humanistic Studies. Online version at the Topos Text Project. Smith, William. "Aether"
Constanța known as Tomis, is the oldest continuously inhabited city in Romania. It was founded around 600 BC; the city is located on the Black Sea coast. It is the largest city in the region of Dobruja; as of the 2011 census, Constanța has a population of 283,872, making it the fifth most populous city in Romania. The Constanța metropolitan area includes 14 localities within 30 km of the city, with a total population of 425,916 inhabitants, it is one of the largest metropolitan areas in Romania; the Port of Constanța has a length of about 30 km. It is the largest port on the Black Sea, one of the largest ports in Europe. According to Jordanes, the foundation of the city was ascribed to Tomyris the queen of the Massagetae: "After achieving this victory and winning so much booty from her enemies, Queen Tomyris crossed over into that part of Moesia, now called Lesser Scythia - a name borrowed from Great Scythia -, built on the Moesian shore of the Black Sea the city of Tomi, named after herself."
In 29 BC the Romans captured the region from the Odryses, annexed it as far as the Danube, under the name of Limes Scythicus. In AD 8, the Roman poet Ovid was banished here by Augustus and it was where he spent the remaining eight years of his life, he laments his exile in Tomis in his poems: Epistulae ex Ponto. Tomis was "by his account a town located in a war-stricken cultural wasteland on the remotest margins of the empire". A statue of Ovid stands in front of the History Museum. A number of inscriptions found in the city and its vicinity show that Constanța lies where Tomis once stood; some of these are now preserved in the British Museum in London. The city was afterwards included in the Province of Moesia, from the time of Diocletian, in Scythia Minor, of which it was the metropolis. After the 5th century, Tomis fell under the rule of the Eastern Roman Empire. During Maurice's Balkan campaigns, Tomis was besieged by the Avars in the winter of 597/598. Tomis was renamed to Constantiana in honour of Constantia, the half-sister of Roman Emperor Constantine the Great.
The earliest known usage of this name was "Κωνστάντια" in 950. The city lay at the seaward end of the Great Wall of Trajan, has evidently been surrounded by fortifications of its own. After successively becoming part of the Bulgarian Empire for over 500 years, of the independent principality of Dobrotitsa/Dobrotici and of Wallachia under Mircea I of Wallachia, Constanța fell under the Ottoman rule around 1419. A railroad linking Constanța to Cernavodă was opened in 1860. In spite of damage done by railway contractors there are considerable remains of ancient masonry walls, etc. An impressive public building, thought to have been a port building, has been excavated, contains the substantial remains of one of the longest mosaic pavements in the world. In 1878, after the Romanian War of Independence, Constanța and the rest of Northern Dobruja were ceded by the Ottoman Empire to Romania; the city became Romania's main transit point for much of Romania's exports. The Constanța Casino, both a historic monument and a modern symbol of the city, was the first building constructed on the shore of the Black Sea after Dobruja came under Romanian administration, with the cornerstone being laid in 1880.
On October 22, 1916, the Central Powers occupied Constanța. According to the Treaty of Bucharest of May 1918, article X.b. Constanța remained under the joint control of the Central Powers. Allied troops liberated the city in 1918 after the successful offensive on the Macedonian Front knocked Bulgaria out of the war. In the interwar years, the city became Romania's main commercial hub, so that by the 1930s over half of the national exports were going through the port. During World War II, when Romania joined the Axis powers, Constanța was one of the country's main targets for the Allied bombers. While the town was left undamaged, the port suffered extensive damage, recovering only in the early 1950s. Constanța is the administrative center of the county with the same name and the largest city in the EU Southeastern development region of Romania; the city is located on the Black Sea coast. Mamaia, an administrative district of Constanța, is the largest and most modern resort on the Romanian coast.
Mineral springs in the surrounding area and sea bathing attract many visitors in the summer. Constanța is one of the warmest cities in Romania, it has a humid subtropical climate, with semi-arid influences. There are four distinct seasons during the year. Summer is hot and sunny with a July and August average of 23 °C. Most summer days see a gentle breeze refreshing the daytime temperatures. Nights are somewhat muggy because of the heat stored by the sea. Autumn starts in mid or late September with sunny days. September can be warmer than June, owing to the warmth accumulated by the Black Sea during the summer; the first frost occurs on average in mid November. Winter is milder than other cities in southern Romania. Snow is not abundant but the weather can be windy and unpleasant. Winter arrives m
Pontus is a historical Greek designation for a region on the southern coast of the Black Sea, located in modern-day eastern Black Sea Region of Turkey. The name was applied to the coastal region and its mountainous hinterland in antiquity by the Greeks who colonized the area and derived from the Greek name of the Black Sea: Πόντος Εὔξεινος Pontos Euxeinos, or Pontos. Having no specific name, the region east of the river Halys was spoken of as the country Ἐν Πόντῳ En Pontōi, "on the Pontos", hence it acquired the name of Pontus, first found in Xenophon's Anabasis; the extent of the region varied through the ages but extended from the borders of Colchis until well into Paphlagonia in the west, with varying amounts of hinterland. Several states and provinces bearing the name of Pontus or variants thereof were established in the region in the Hellenistic and Byzantine periods, culminating in the late Byzantine Empire of Trebizond. Pontus is sometimes considered as the home of the Amazons, with the name Amazon used not only for a city but for all of Pontus in Greek mythology.
Pontus became important as a bastion of Byzantine Greek and Greek Orthodox civilization and attracted Greeks from all backgrounds from all over Anatolia and the southern Balkans, from the Classical and Hellenistic periods into the Byzantine and Ottoman. These Greeks of Pontus are referred to as Pontic Greeks. Pontus remained outside the reach of the Bronze Age empires; the region went further uncontrolled by Hatti's eastern neighbours, Hurrian states like Azzi and Hayasa. In those days, the best any outsider could hope from this region was temporary alliance with a local strongman; the Hittites called the unorganised groups on their northeastern frontier the Kaška. As of 2004 little had been found of them archaeologically. In the wake of the Hittite empire's collapse, the Assyrian court noted that the "Kašku" had overrun its territory in conjunction with a hitherto unknown group whom they labeled the Muški. Iron Age visitors to the region Greek, noted that the hinterlands remained disunited, they recorded the names of tribes: Moskhians, Mares, Mossynoikians, Tibareni and Chaldians.
The Armenian language went unnoted by the Hittites, the Assyrians, all the post-Hittite nations. The Greeks, who spoke a related Indo-European tongue, followed them along the coast; the Greeks are the earliest long-term inhabitants of the region from. During the late 8th century BCE, Pontus further became a base for the Cimmerians. Since there was so little literacy in northeastern Anatolia until the Persian and Hellenistic era, one can only speculate as to the other languages spoken here. Given that Kartvelian languages remain spoken to the east of Pontus, some are suspected to have been spoken in eastern Pontus during the Iron Age: the Tzans are associated with today's Laz; the first travels of Greek merchants and adventurers to the Pontus region occurred from around 1000 BC, whereas their settlements would become steady and solidified cities only by the 8th and 7th centuries BC as archaeological findings document. This fits in well with a foundation date of 731 BC as reported by Eusebius of Caesarea for Sinope the most ancient of the Greek Colonies in what was to be called Pontus.
The epical narratives related to the travels of Jason and the Argonauts to Colchis, the tales of Heracles' navigating the Black Sea and Odysseus' wanderings into the land of the Cimmerians, as well as the myth of Zeus constraining Prometheus to the Caucasus mountains as a punishment for his outwitting the Gods, can all be seen as reflections of early contacts between early Greek colonists and the local Caucasian, peoples. The earliest known written description of Pontus, however, is that of Scylax of Korianda, who in the 7th century BC described Greek settlements in the area. By the 6th century BC, Pontus had become a part of the Achaemenid Empire, which meant that the local Greek colonies were paying tribute to the Persians; when the Athenian commander Xenophon passed through Pontus around a century in 401-400 BC, in fact, he found no Persians in Pontus. The peoples of this part of northern Asia Minor were incorporated into the third and nineteenth satrapies of the Persian empire. Iranian influence ran deep, illustrated most famously by the temple of the Persian deities Anaitis and Anadatos at Zela, founded by victorious Persian generals in the 6th century BCE.
The Kingdom of Pontus extended to the east of the Halys River. The Persian dynasty, to found this kingdom had during the 4th century BC ruled the Greek city of Cius in Mysia, with its first known member being Ariobarzanes I of Cius and the last ruler based in the city being Mithridates II of Cius. Mithridates II's son called Mithridates, would proclaim himself Mithridates I Ktistes of Pontus; as the Encyclopaedia Iranica states, the most famous member of the family, Mithradates VI Eupator, although undoubtedly presenting himself to the Greek world as a civilized philhellene and new Alexander paraded his Iranian background: he maintained a harem and eunuchs in true Oriental fashion.
In Greek mythology, a Gorgon is a mythical creature portrayed in ancient Greek literature. While descriptions of Gorgons vary across Greek literature and occur in the earliest examples of Greek literature, the term refers to any of three sisters who had hair made of living, venomous snakes, as well as a horrifying visage that turned those who beheld her to stone. Traditionally, while two of the Gorgons were immortal and Euryale, their sister Medusa was not and she was slain by the demigod and hero Perseus; the name derives from the ancient Greek word γοργός gorgós, which means "grim, dreadful", appears to come from the same root as the Sanskrit: गर्जन, defined as a guttural sound, similar to the growling of a beast, thus originating as an onomatopoeia. Gorgons were a popular image in Greek mythology, appearing in the earliest of written records of Ancient Greek religious beliefs such as those of Homer, which may date to as early as 1194–1184 BC; because of their legendary and powerful gaze that could turn one to stone, images of the Gorgons were put upon objects and buildings for protection.
An image of a Gorgon holds the primary location at the pediment of the temple at Corfu, the oldest stone pediment in Greece, is dated to c. 600 BC. The concept of the Gorgon is at least as old in classical Greek mythology as Zeus; the name is being derived from "gorgos" and translating as terrible or dreadful. Gorgoneia first appear in Greek art at the turn of the eighth century BC. One of the earliest representations is on an electrum stater discovered during excavations at Parium. Other early eighth-century examples were found at Tiryns. Going further back into history, there is a similar image from the Knossos palace, datable to the fifteenth century BC. Marija Gimbutas argues that "the Gorgon extends back to at least 6000 BC, as a ceramic mask from the Sesklo culture...". In her book, Language of the Goddess, she identifies the prototype of the Gorgoneion in Neolithic art motifs in anthropomorphic vases and terracotta masks inlaid with gold; the large Gorgon eyes, as well as Athena's "flashing" eyes, are symbols termed "the divine eyes" by Gimbutas.
They may be represented by spirals, concentric circles, swastikas and other images. The awkward stance of the gorgon, with arms and legs at angles is associated with these symbols as well; some Gorgons are shown with broad, round heads, serpentine locks of hair, large staring eyes, wide mouths, tongues lolling, the tusks of swine, large projecting teeth, flared nostrils, sometimes short, coarse beards. In some cruder representations, stylized hair or blood flowing under the severed head of the Gorgon has been mistaken for a beard or wings; some reptilian attributes such as a belt made of snakes and snakes emanating from the head or entwined in the hair, as in the temple of Artemis in Corfu, are symbols derived from the guardians associated with early Greek religious concepts at the centers such as Delphi where the dragon Delphyne lived and the priestess Pythia delivered oracles. The skin of the dragon was said to be made of impenetrable scales. While seeking origins others have suggested examination of some similarities to the Babylonian creature, Humbaba, in the Gilgamesh epic.
A number of early classics scholars interpreted the myth of the Medusa as a quasi-historical, or "sublimated", memory of an actual invasion. Transitions in religious traditions over such long periods of time may make some strange turns. Gorgons are depicted as having wings, brazen claws, the tusks of boars, scaly skin; the oldest oracles were said to be protected by serpents and a Gorgon image was associated with those temples. Lionesses or sphinxes are associated with the Gorgon as well; the powerful image of the Gorgon was adopted for the classical images and myths of Athena and Zeus being worn in continuation of a more ancient religious imagery. In late myths, the Gorgons were said to be the daughters of sea deities, Ceto the sea monster and Phorcys. Homer, the author of the oldest known work of European literature, speaks only of one Gorgon, whose head is represented in the Iliad as fixed in the centre of the aegis of Athena: About her shoulders she flung the tasselled aegis, fraught with terror... and therein is the head of the dread monster, the Gorgon and awful...
Its earthly counterpart is a device on the shield of Agamemnon:...and therein was set as a crown the Gorgon, grim of aspect and about her were Terror and Rout. In the Odyssey, the Gorgon is a monster of the underworld into which the earliest Greek deities were cast:...and pale fear seized me, lest august Persephone might send forth upon me from out of the house of Hades the head of the Gorgon, that awful monster... Around 700 BC, Hesiod imagines the Gorgons as sea daemons and increases the number of them to three – Stheno and Medusa, makes them the daughters of the sea deities Keto and Phorcys, their home is on the farthest side of the western ocean. Ancient Libya is identified as a possible source of the deity, a creation deity in Ancient Egypt and, when the Greeks occupied Egypt, they said that Neith was called Athene in Greece; the Attic tradition, reproduced in Euripides, regarded the Gorgon as a monster, produced by Gaia to aid her children, the Titans, against the new Olympian deities.
Hesiod was a Greek poet thought by scholars to have been active between 750 and 650 BC, around the same time as Homer. He is regarded as the first written poet in the Western tradition to regard himself as an individual persona with an active role to play in his subject. Ancient authors credited Homer with establishing Greek religious customs. Modern scholars refer to him as a major source on Greek mythology, farming techniques, early economic thought, archaic Greek astronomy and ancient time-keeping; the dating of Hesiod's life is a contested issue in scholarly circles. Epic narrative allowed poets like Homer no opportunity for personal revelations. However, Hesiod's extant work comprises several didactic poems in which he went out of his way to let his audience in on a few details of his life. There are three explicit references in Works and Days, as well as some passages in his Theogony that support inferences made by scholars; the former poem says that his father came from Cyme in Aeolis and crossed the sea to settle at a hamlet, near Thespiae in Boeotia, named Ascra, "a cursed place, cruel in winter, hard in summer, never pleasant".
Hesiod's patrimony there, a small piece of ground at the foot of Mount Helicon, occasioned lawsuits with his brother Perses, who seems, at first, to have cheated him of his rightful share thanks to corrupt authorities or "kings" but became impoverished and ended up scrounging from the thrifty poet. Unlike his father, Hesiod was averse to sea travel, but he once crossed the narrow strait between the Greek mainland and Euboea to participate in funeral celebrations for one Athamas of Chalcis, there won a tripod in a singing competition, he describes a meeting between himself and the Muses on Mount Helicon, where he had been pasturing sheep when the goddesses presented him with a laurel staff, a symbol of poetic authority. Fanciful though the story might seem, the account has led ancient and modern scholars to infer that he was not a professionally trained rhapsode, or he would have been presented with a lyre instead; some scholars have seen Perses as a literary creation, a foil for the moralizing that Hesiod develops in Works and Days, but there are arguments against that theory.
For example, it is quite common for works of moral instruction to have an imaginative setting, as a means of getting the audience's attention, but it could be difficult to see how Hesiod could have travelled around the countryside entertaining people with a narrative about himself if the account was known to be fictitious. Gregory Nagy, on the other hand, sees both Pérsēs and Hēsíodos as fictitious names for poetical personae, it might seem unusual that Hesiod's father migrated from Asia Minor westwards to mainland Greece, the opposite direction to most colonial movements at the time, Hesiod himself gives no explanation for it. However around 750 BC or a little there was a migration of seagoing merchants from his original home in Cyme in Asia Minor to Cumae in Campania, his move west had something to do with that, since Euboea is not far from Boeotia, where he established himself and his family; the family association with Aeolian Cyme might explain his familiarity with eastern myths, evident in his poems, though the Greek world might have developed its own versions of them.
In spite of Hesiod's complaints about poverty, life on his father's farm could not have been too uncomfortable if Works and Days is anything to judge by, since he describes the routines of prosperous yeomanry rather than peasants. His farmer employs a friend as well as servants, an energetic and responsible ploughman of mature years, a slave boy to cover the seed, a female servant to keep house and working teams of oxen and mules. One modern scholar surmises that Hesiod may have learned about world geography the catalogue of rivers in Theogony, listening to his father's accounts of his own sea voyages as a merchant; the father spoke in the Aeolian dialect of Cyme but Hesiod grew up speaking the local Boeotian, belonging to the same dialect group. However, while his poetry features some Aeolisms there are no words that are Boeotian, his basic language was the main literary dialect of Homer's Ionian. It is probable that Hesiod wrote his poems down, or dictated them, rather than passed them on orally, as rhapsodes did—otherwise the pronounced personality that now emerges from the poems would have been diluted through oral transmission from one rhapsode to another.
Pausanias asserted that Boeotians showed him an old tablet made of lead on which the Works were engraved. If he did write or dictate, it was as an aid to memory or because he lacked confidence in his ability to produce poems extempore, as trained rhapsodes could do, it wasn't in a quest for immortal fame since poets in his era had no such notions for themselves. However, some scholars suspect the presence of large-scale changes in the text and attribute this to oral transmission, he composed his verses during idle times on the farm, in the spring before the May harvest or the dead of winter. The personality behind the poems is unsuited to the kind of "aristocratic withdrawal" typical of a rhapsode but is instead "argumentative, suspicious humorous, fond of proverbs, wary of women." He was in fact a misogynist of t
In Greek mythology, the Sirens were dangerous creatures, who lured nearby sailors with their enchanting music and singing voices to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island. Roman poets placed them on some small islands called Sirenum scopuli. In some rationalized traditions, the literal geography of the "flowery" island of Anthemoessa, or Anthemusa, is fixed: sometimes on Cape Pelorum and at others in the islands known as the Sirenuse, near Paestum, or in Capreae. All such locations were surrounded by rocks; the etymology of the name is at present contested. Robert S. P. Beekes has suggested a Pre-Greek origin. Others connect the name to σειρά and εἴρω, resulting in the meaning "binder, entangler", i. e. one who binds or entangles through magic song. This could be connected to the famous scene of Odysseus being bound to the mast of his ship, in order to resist their song. Sirens were believed to combine birds in various ways. In early Greek art, Sirens were represented as birds with large women's heads, bird feathers and scaly feet.
They were represented as female figures with the legs of birds, with or without wings, playing a variety of musical instruments harps. The tenth-century Byzantine encyclopedia Suda says that from their chests up, Sirens had the form of sparrows, below they were women or, that they were little birds with women's faces. Birds were chosen because of their beautiful voices. Sirens were sometimes depicted as beautiful women, whose bodies, not only their voices, are seductive. Sirens were shown to be male or female, but the male Siren disappeared from art around fifth century BC; the first-century Roman historian Pliny the Elder discounted Sirens as pure fable, "although Dinon, the father of Clearchus, a celebrated writer, asserts that they exist in India, that they charm men by their song, having first lulled them to sleep, tear them to pieces." In his notebooks, Leonardo da Vinci wrote of the Siren, "The siren sings so sweetly that she lulls the mariners to sleep. In 1917, Franz Kafka wrote in The Silence of the Sirens, "Now the Sirens have a still more fatal weapon than their song, namely their silence.
And though admittedly such a thing never happened, it is still conceivable that someone might have escaped from their singing. Although a Sophocles fragment makes Phorcys their father, when Sirens are named, they are as daughters of the river god Achelous, with Terpsichore, Calliope or Sterope. In Euripides' play, Helen in her anguish calls upon "Winged maidens, daughters of the Earth." Although they lured mariners, the Greeks portrayed the Sirens in their "meadow starred with flowers" and not as sea deities. Roman writers linked the Sirens more to the sea, as daughters of Phorcys. Sirens are found in many Greek stories, notably in Homer's Odyssey, their number is variously reported as from two to five. In the Odyssey, Homer says nothing of their origin or names, but gives the number of the Sirens as two. Writers mention both their names and number: some state that there were three, Peisinoe and Thelxiepeia or Parthenope and Leucosia, their individual names are variously rendered in the sources as Thelxiepeia/Thelxiope/Thelxinoe, Himerope, Aglaophonos/Aglaope/Aglaopheme, Pisinoe/Peisinoë/Peisithoe, Ligeia, Leucosia and Teles.
Aglaope or Aglaophonos or Aglaopheme, attested as a daughter of Melpomene. Leucosia: Her name was given to the island opposite to the Sirens' cape, her body was found on the shore of Poseidonia. Ligeia: She was found ashore of Terina in Bruttium. Molpe, another daughter of Achelous and Melpomene. Parthenope: Her tomb was presented in Naples and called "constraction of sirens". Peisinoe or Peisithoe, daughter of Achelous and Melpomene. Thelxiope or Thelxiepeia, daughter of Achelous and Melpomene. According to Ovid, the Sirens were the companions of young Persephone, they were given wings by Demeter to search for Persephone. However, the Fabulae of Hyginus has Demeter cursing the Sirens for failing to intervene in the abduction of Persephone. According to Hyginus, sirens were fated to live only until the mortals who heard their songs were able to pass by them, it is said that Hera, queen of the gods, persuaded the Sirens to enter a singing contest with the Muses. The Muses won the competition and plucked out all of the Sirens' feathers and made crowns out of them.
Out of their anguish from losing the competition, writes Stephanus of Byzantium, the Sirens turned white and fell into the sea at Aptera, where they formed the islands in the bay that were called Leukai. In the Argonautica, Jason had been warned by Chiron; when Orpheus heard their voices, he drew out his lyre and played his music more beautifully than they, drowning out their voices. One of the crew, however, t