Arīon in Harpers Dictionary of Classical Antiquities

(Ἀρίων). A Greek poet and musician, of Methymna in Lesbos, who flourished about B.C. 625. In the course of a roving life he spent a considerable time at the court of Periander, tyrant of Corinth. Here he first gave the dithyramb (q.v.) an artistic form, and was therefore regarded as the inventor of that style in general. He is best known by the story of his rescue on the back of a dolphin. Returning from a journey through Lower Italy and Sicily, he trusted himself to a crew of Corinthian sailors, who resolved to kill him on the open sea for the sake of his treasures. As a last favour he extorted the permission to sing his songs once more to the lyre, and then to throw himself into the sea. His strains drew a number of dolphins around him, one of which took him on its back, and carried him safe to land at the foot of the foreland of Taenarum. Thence he hastened to Corinth, and convicted the sailors, who were telling Periander that they had left the minstrel safe at Tarentum (Hyg. Fab. 194). A bronze statue of a man on a dolphin, which stood on the top of Taenarum, was supposed to be his thank-offering to Poseidon (Herod.i. 24). A hymn of thanksgiving to the god of the sea, preserved under his name, belongs to a later time. (Ἀρείων). A fabulous horse said to have been begotten by Poseidon.

Read More