God of the Week: The Sirens

God of the Week 05/17/2010: The Sirens

The Sirens were ancient Greek seductresses that lead sailors to their deaths by luring them too drive their ships too close to the rocks with alluring singing.

The Sirens would appear to have been personifications of those numerous rocks and unseen dangers which abound on the S.W. coast of Italy. They were sea-nymphs, with the upper part of the body that of a maiden and the lower that of a searbird, having wings attached to their shoulders and were endowed with such wonderful voices, that their sweet songs are said to have lured mariners to destruction.

-E.M. Berens, The Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome

In The Odyssey, Odysseus filled his sailor’s ears with wax to keep them from being lured by the songs of the Sirens.

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