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[2]

Apollo also slew Marsyas, the son of Olympus. For Marsyas, having found the pipes which Athena had thrown away because they disfigured her face,1 engaged in a musical contest with Apollo. They agreed that the victor should work his will on the vanquished, and when the trial took place Apollo turned his lyre upside down in the competition and bade Marsyas do the same. But Marsyas could not, so Apollo was judged the victor and despatched Marsyas by hanging him on a tall pine tree and stripping off his skin.2


1 As she played on the pipes, she is said to have seen her puffed and swollen cheeks reflected in water. See Plut. De cohibenda ira 6; Athenaeus xiv.7, p. 616ef; Prop. iii.22(29). 16ff.; Ovid, Fasti vi.697ff.; Ovid, Ars Am. iii.505ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 165; Fulgentius, Mytholog. iii.9; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. G.H.Bode, i. pp. 40, 114 (First Vatican Mythographer 125; Second Vatican Mythographer 115). On the acropolis at Athens there was a group of statuary representing Athena smiting Marsyas because he had picked up the flutes which she had thrown away (Paus. 1.24.1). The subject was a favourite theme in ancient art. See Frazer, note on Paus. 10.29.3 (vol. ii. pp. 289ff.).

2 As to the musical contest between Marsyas and Apollo, and the punishment of the vanquished Marsyas, see Diod. 3.59; Paus. 2.22.9; Ov. Met. 6.382ff.; Ovid, Fasti vi.703ff.; Hyginus, Fab. 165; Scriptores rerum mythicarum Latini, ed. Bode, i. pp. 40, 114 (First Vatican Mythographer 125; Second Vatican Mythographer 115). There has been some doubt as to the interpretation of the words τὴν κιθάραν στρέψας; but that they mean simply “turned the lyre upside down,” as Heyne correctly explained them, is shown by a comparison with the parallel passages in Hyginus (“citharam versabat”) and the Second Vatican Mythographer (“invertit citharam, et canere coepit. Inversis autem tibiis, quum se Marsya Apollini aequiparare nequiret,” etc.). That the tree on which Marsyas was hanged was a pine is affirmed by many ancient writers besides Apollodorus. See Nicander, Alex. 301ff., with the Scholiast's note; Lucian, Tragodopodagra 314ff.; Archias Mitylenaeus in Anth. Pal. vii.696; Philostratus Junior, Im. i.3; Longus, Pastor. iv.8; Zenobius, Cent. iv.81; Tzetzes, Chiliades i.353ff. Pliny alone describes the tree as a plane, which in his time was still shown at Aulocrene on the way from Apamea to PhrygiaPliny, Nat. Hist. xvi.240). The skin of the flayed Marsyas was exhibited at Celaenae within historical times. See Hdt. 7.26; Xen. Ana. 1.2.8; Livy xxxviii.13.6; Quintus Curtius iii.1.1-5; Pliny, Nat. Hist. v.106.

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