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SYRINX (σύριγξ), any sort of pipe or tube (see Dictionaries), but especially the Pan's Pipe, or Pandean Pipe. This was the appropriate musical instrument of the Arcadian and other Grecian shepherds, and was regarded by them as the invention of Pan, their tutelary god (Verg. Ecl. 2.32, 8.24), who was sometimes heard playing upon it (συρίζων: see Theocr. 1.3, 14, 19; Schol. in loc.; Longus, 4.27), as they imagined, on Mount Maenalus (Paus. 8.36.5). It is similarly attributed to Faunus (Hor. Od. 1.17, 10). When the Roman poets had occasion to mention it, they called it fistula (Verg. Ecl. 2.36, 3.22, 25; Hor. Od. 4.12, 10; Ovid, Ov. Met. 8.192, 13.784; Mart. 14.63; Tib. 1.6, 30; Cic. de Orat. 3.61, 225). It was also variously denominated according to the materials of which it was constructed, whether of cane (tenui arundine, Verg. Ecl. 6.8; Hom. Hymn. in Pana, 15; ποιμενίῳ δονάκι, Brunck, Anal. 1.489), reed (calamo, Verg. Ecl. 1.10, 2.34, 5.2; κάλαμος, Theocr. 8.24; Longus, 1.4), or hemlock (cicuta, Verg. Ecl. 5.85). In general seven hollow stems of these plants were fitted together by means of wax, having been previously cut to the proper lengths, and adjusted so as to form an octave (Verg. Ecl. 2.32, 36); but sometimes nine were admitted, giving an equal number of notes (Theocr. 8.18-22). Another refinement in the construction of this instrument, which, however, was rarely practised, was to arrange the pipes in a curve so as to fit the form of the lip, instead of arranging them in a plane (Theocr. 1.129). A syrinx of eight reeds is shown in the gem figured on page 305. The inference from Athen. 4.184 is that the syrinx of joined reeds was an improvement on the single reed-pipe, which he calls μονοκάλαμος σῦριγξ: in the tradition there cited Hermes invented the single σῦριγξ, Silenus the πολυκάλαμος, and Marsyas the method of joining with wax. The annexed woodcut is taken from a bas-relief in the collection at Appuldurcombe in the Isle of Wight (Mus. Worsleyanum, pl. 9). It represents Pan reclining at the entrance of the cave, which was dedicated to him in the Acropolis at Athens. He holds in his right hand a drinking-horn [RHYTON] and in his left a syrinx, which is strengthened by two transverse bands.

Pan with Syrinx. (From a bas-relief.)

The ancients always considered the Pan's Pipe as a rustic instrument, chiefly used by those who tended flocks and herds (Hom. Il. 18.526; Apollon. 1.577; Dionys. Perieg. 996; Longus, 1.2, 14-16, 2.24-26); but also admitted to regulate the dance (Hes. Scut. 278). This instrument was the origin of the organ [HYDRAULA].

The σῦριγξ μονοκάλαμος was played like our flute, not by a mouthpiece like the αὐλός [see TIBIA]: hence the Schol. ad Pind. Pyth, xii. says that Midas, having broken the mouthpiece, played on the rest of the αὐλὸς as if it were a flute, i. e. by blowing across the τρυπήματα. The σῦριγξ of the αὐλός, in Plut. Mus. 21 and Aristox. p. 28, was probably a τρύπημα near [p. 2.749]the mouthpiece (cf. Baumeister, Denkm. p. 561; TIBIA).

[J.Y] [G.E.M]

hide References (11 total)
  • Cross-references from this page (11):
    • Homer, Odyssey, 1.10
    • Homer, Odyssey, 1.17
    • Homer, Odyssey, 4.10
    • Homer, Odyssey, 4.12
    • Pausanias, Description of Greece, 8.36.5
    • Homer, Iliad, 18.526
    • Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica, 1.577
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, 13.784
    • Ovid, Metamorphoses, 8.192
    • Cicero, On Oratory, 3.61
    • Martial, Epigrammata, 14.63
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