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This historic book may have numerous typos and missing text. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. Not indexed. Not illustrated. 1880. Excerpt: ... Finally, although the account of the Sirens in Homer has assumed almost entirely the shape of a pure myth, there are in it one or two slight traces of its origin in fact. One is the circumstance that the Sirens' appearance is not described. Ulysses and his crew evidently did not see, but only heard them. Like birds in a wood, they were to the passing mariner ' vox et praeterea nihil.' Again the mention of the dead calm is significant. Before coming to the island, says Ulysses, Od. 12. 165 r6jpa 8£ KapiraXifico; ifjiieeTO 1/17O? evepyrs vrjaov Leiprfvouv-eireiye yap ovpos airrjiMov: but when they reached it, ainiK eireiT avep,os fiev iiraiaaTO rjSe yaXr/vrj eirXero vrjvefiirj-Kotfiijce Se KVfiara Baifiav. The song of the birds--were they not nightingales? dSivdwv the epithet applied to them in Od. 23. 326 might well be paraphrased by Tennyson's "hurries and precipitates With fast thick warble its delicious notes1"--would not be heard in rough weather nor noticed in a rapid passage. Are we then to suppose that this beautiful myth arose from the concurrence of two circumstances on an actual voyage--the singing of birds in the woods of a desert island and strong currents setting towards its shore and compelling sailors to lean to their oars (irpoirea-6vTe; epeaaeiv v. 194) if they would escape the shipwreck of their predecessors? J. P. POSTGATE. Note. After writing the above (in July, 1877) I met with a passage from the Amalihea which I transcribe below. I have not been able to refer to Ferhengi Schuuri's book. "So sind die Sirenen welche zum Theile gefiedert waren (und auch die 1 Unless indeed it refers to their the plural. Had Homer meant that numbers and points out that the wood there were only two Sirens, he would was 'vocal' with innumerable birds. ...
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