La notion de retournement et l’agôn musical entre Apollon et Marsyas dans la Bibliothèque du pseudo-Apollodore: interprétation d' un mythe

TitleLa notion de retournement et l’agôn musical entre Apollon et Marsyas dans la Bibliothèque du pseudo-Apollodore: interprétation d' un mythe
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsMonbrun, P
Ancient AuthorsPseudo-Apollodorus Myth. (TLG 0548)
JournalKernos
Volume18
Pagination269-289
Abstract

The reversal’s notion and the musical agôn between Apollon and Marsyas in ps.-Apollodorus: interpretation of a myth. In The Library (I, 4, 2), the pseudo-Apollodorus reports how Apollo, the musician god, opposed to Marsyas the satyr, won the musical contest by playing his kithara upside down, a trick his opponent was quite unable to reproduce with his aulos. Thus, Apollo turned his kithara into a palintonos and palintropos instrument, very much like his reflex bow, an instrument, whose position could be reversed but which could also reverse the situation to the benefit of its user. The same reversal ability is true of the lyre, which could be played efficiently both ways thanks to the tortoise and to Hermes, the skilful lyremaker. The extraordinary capacity of Apollinian stringed instruments to be reversed throws a new light on both Apollo’s victory and Marsyas’s skinning, setting the episode in the mètis area. From Apollo’s reversed lyre hurling Marsyas down into Hades to Orpheus’s being played the right way, to bring back Euridyke from the underworld, emerges the ambivalent nature of the lyre in perfect symmetry with the bow’s. Just like it, the lyre means the fall from life into death but it also represents the ascent from death into life. [http://web.philo.ulg.ac.be/kernos/wp-content/uploads/sites/21/2015/02/PMonbrun_Notion.pdf]

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