Arion

Poet and singer from Methymnia on Lesbos at the end of the 7th/ beginning of 6th century BC. According to Herodotus he was the greatest kithara player of his time, as well as the inventor of the dithyrambs.

Nothing of Arion's work has survived, but there is a famous anecdote about him. His art made him very wealthy, and on a journey by sea he was attacked by the crew. He begged them to let him sing one last song before he was thrown overboard, which the bandits gladly accepted. In full costume he gave a last performance, and then jumped into the sea. His music had attracted dolphins, though, and the friendly mammals carried him ashore. When the ship arrived he was there and when the crew recognized him they were arrested.


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