Sirens on a Greek Funeral Marble

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“In Greek mythology, one of two, or three, or an indeterminate number of sea-nymphs who by their singing fascinated those who sailed by their island, and destroyed them. In works of art they are represented as having the head, arms, and generally the bust of a young woman, the wings and lower part of the body, or sometimes only the feet, of a bird.” —Whitney, 1889.

This illustration is of two of the sirens depicted on a funeral marble in Chios. The top siren appears to be dancing. The one on the bottom is playing an instrument.


William Dwight Whitney, PhD, LLD The Century Dictionary: An Encyclopedic Lexicon of the English Language (New York, NY: The Century Co., 1895) 5655


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