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  • In Greek mythology, the satyr Marsyas (gr. Μα�?σ�?ας) is a central figure in two stories involving music: in one, he picked up the double flute (aulos) that had been abandoned by Athena and played it;1 in the other, he challenged Apollo to a contest of music and lost his hide and life. In Antiquity, literary sources often emphasise the hubris of Marsyas and the justice of his punishment.

    In one strand of modern comparative mythography, the domination of Marsyas by Apollo is regarded as an example of myth that recapitulates a supposed supplanting by the Olympian pantheon of an earlier “Pelasgian�? religion of chthonic heroic ancestors and nature spirits.2 Marsyas was a devoté of the ancient Mother Goddess Rhea/Cybele, and his episodes are sited by the mythographers in Celaenae (or Kelainai) in Phrygia (today, the town of Dinar in Turkey), at the main source of the Meander (the river Menderes).3


    May 27, 2009