Arion music

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La légende d’Arion

dauphin 6On raconte que Arion, jeune musicien qui chantait et jouait de la lyre comme personne, naquit à Méthymne, dans l’île de Lemnos au VIe siècle avant Jésus-Christ. En Sicile, il disputa et remporta tous les concours qui opposaient les meilleurs chanteurs et musiciens.
Comblé de présents et d’argent, il voulut rentrer dans son pays et s’embarqua à Tarente, avec toutes ses richesses, sur un navire corinthien. Les matelots qui avaient appris qu’il était chargé de richesses, voulurent le jeter à la mer pour s’approprier son trésor. Il leur demanda en grâce de toucher de sa lyre encore une fois dans l’espoir de les attendrir. Mais leurs oreilles étaient aussi dures que leurs cœurs et Arion n’espérant plus rien de leur pitié, se jeta à la mer. Plusieurs dauphins s’étaient rassemblés pour l’entendre. L’un d’eux le reçut sur son dos et le porta jusqu’au cap de Ténare.

Arion fut donc sauvé par la musique, et les astres reçurent parmi eux le dauphin qui avait sauvé Arion.

The legend of Arion

dauphin 6Arion, a young musician and singer who was unequalled in his skill with the lyre, is said to have been born at Methymna on the island of Lesbos in the sixth century BCE. After a visit to Sicily to take part in contests against the finest singers and musicians – which he won and was showered with riches as his prize – he wished to return to Corinth and set sail on a Corinthian ship from Tarentum. Once out in the open sea, the sailors formed a plot to cast him overboard and take his wealth. When they attacked him he begged them as a last favour to let him play his lyre, in the hope of moving them to pity. But his efforts were to no avail and, realising that he would not obtain their mercy, Arion threw himself into the sea, where dolphins, who had been drawn to the ship by the enchanting music, bore him up as he sank and one of them carried him on its back and brought him to shore at Cape Taenarum.

Thus, Arion was saved by music, and the dolphin who saved Arion was placed among the constellations as Delphinus.