Sketch of a Siren, also spelled Seiren Picture

Typically, I'm a fan of the more obscure Greek myth creatures and monsters. Kobaloi, Kallikantzaroi, Neades, Sciritae, Gorillai, etc. etc.

However, my first favorite of all the Greek myth creatures (after the whirlpool Charybdis), would have to be the Sirens.

Though numerous similar creatures exist throughout mythologies worldwide, Sirens have their most famous roots in Greek Mythology and Germanic legend.

Some of the Greeks believed in the existence of only two (Aglaopheme and Thelxiepeia); others believed that there were three (either Peisinoe, Aglaope, and Thelxiepeia, or Parthenope, Ligeia, and Leucosia), while others thought that five existed. And still others believed that there were as many as thirteen (names varying as Thelxiepeia/Thelxiope/Thelxinoe, Molpe, Aglaophonos/Aglaope/Aglaopheme, Pisinoe/Peisinoë/Peisithoe, Parthenope, Ligeia, Leucosia, Raidne, and Teles).

Their parentage also varies. Some designate their father as being Phorcys (a sea deity who was also the father of the original Gorgons and numerous other monsters and sea creatures), while others say that their father was Achelous (a river deity). Their mother is often said to be one of the Muses (Terpsichore or Melpomene), or a nymph (by the name Sterope) or the Earth itself (Gaia).

The Germanic Siren, however, was singular. She went by Lorelei (also spelled Loreley); sometimes she was similar to the Sirens of Greek myth, while other times she was the spirit of a jilted woman pining for her long-lost lover. Sometimes, she was even said to be an invisible spirit whose voice was the only thing that remained of her after passing, similar to the Greek myth of the nymph Echo.

One thing that the Greek and German mythos share, though, is the capability of a Siren to produce a song so lovely that, as sailors steered off course, attempting to reach the warm embrace of their assailants, they would be lured to a brutal death on the rocks of the island where the seductive songstresses resided. For the Greeks, that island went by the name of Anthemusa/Anthemoessa; for Lorelei, it was an immense rocky cliff which was named in her honor after her demise.
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