Legend of Arion - Herodotus

Literature of antiquity and the Middle Ages - Summary - 2019

Legend of Arion

... Periannd was a tyrant (1) of Corinth. With him, as the Corinthians say (and this story is also confirmed by lesbians), the greatest miracle happened in life. Arion from Mefimnya was taken on a dolphin from the sea at Tenar. It was an incomparable kifrad (2) of his time, and, as far as I know, the first began to compose dithyrambs (3), gave him the name and taught the choir for setting in Corinth.

This is Arion spent most of his time in Perianndra and then decided to sail to Italy and Sikelia. There he gained great wealth, then he wished to return to Corinth. He set off on a journey from Tarantha, and, since nobody trusted more of the Corinthians, hired a ship from Corinthian sailors. And the boatmen thought of an evil thing: to throw Arion into the sea in the open sea and seize him with treasures. Arion, knowing about their intention, begged to save his life, offering to give away all his treasures. However, he failed to soften the shipwreck. They ordered Arion or himself to deprive himself of life in order to be buried in the earth, or immediately rush into the sea. In such a desperate state, Arion, meanwhile, urged the shipwreckers (if so, their decision) to at least allow him to sing in the full dress of the singer, standing on the bench of the rowers. He promised that, protesting his song, he will deprive himself of life. Then the shipmen switched from the stern to the middle of the ship, rejoicing that they had to hear the best singer in the world. Arion, dressed in a full dress of the singer, took a kifaru and, standing on the stern, performed a solemn song. Having finished the song, he, as was in all the outfit, rushed to the sea. Meanwhile, the shipmen sailed to Corinth, but Arion, as they say, took a dolphin on his back and carried it to Tenar. Arion went out on the beach and in his dress the singer went to Corinth. Upon arriving there, he told all that had happened to him. Periannd, however, did not believe the story, and ordered Arian to be arrested and not be let go, and watch the boatmen carefully. When they arrived in Corinth, Periannd called them to himself and asked them what he knew about Arion. The boatmen replied that Arion lives and lives somewhere in Italy and they left him in Tarantha in complete prosperity. Then suddenly Arion appeared in the very robe in which he rushed into the sea. The amazed boatmen could not deny their guilt, since they were caught. Corinthians and lesbians say so. And on Tenar there is a small copper statue - the gift of Arion, which depicts a person on a dolphin.

(1) The tyrant - in Ancient Greece and in medieval cities-states of Italy - is an individual ruler.

(2) Kifaret is the one who plays the kyphar, a kindred lyre musical instrument of the ancient Greeks.

(3) Dithiramb - an exaggerated enthusiastic praise.