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Siren / Sirine
A Sirine near the water
Image Courtesy/Copyright of Wizards of the Coast/Dungeons & Dragons
The Sirens were winged creatures with women's heads and voices so enchantinly beautiful that every sailor who passed by and heard them felt compelled to draw closer and listen. The sailor's boat would crash on the rocks and the Sirens lured many men to their deaths in this way.
The Encyclopedia of World Mythology
ed. Arthur Cotterell
Human females from the head to the waist, and then birdlike below that. Sometimes depicted as being a woman's head on a bird's body, or as a woman, or as part woman, part fish (like a Mermaid
or a Nereid
, but with the singing ability.)
They sing beautiful songs, that lure men in. Alternatively, the songs might lull them to sleep, and then the sirens can kill them easily. In Greek mythology, the three named Sirens were Parthenope, Ligea, and Leucosia, although there are different versions that number varies from 2 to 8.
Although similar and equally dangerous, Sirens are generally considered more attractive and pleasant than Harpy
The Sirens were first mentioned in Homer's Odyssey (although their appearance is not described by him.) Odysseus had his ship's crew put wax in their ears to block the Sirens' songs, while he was lashed to the mast so he could hear them sing.
In another story, Orpheus was able to beat the Sirens' song, by playing his own music which was even more pleasing than theirs.
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