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On this page: Syrinx – Syssitia



SYRINX (<7i5pi7£), the Pan's Pipe, or Pandean Pipe, was the appropriate musical instrument of the Arcadian and other Grecian shepherds, and was regfirded by them as the invention of Pan, their tutelary god (Virg. Buc. ii. 32, viii. 24), who was sometimes heard playing upon it (<rvpi£ovTos: see Theocrit. i. 3. 14, 16 ; Schol. in loc. ; Longus, iv. 27), as they imagined, on mount Maenalus. (Pans, viii. 36. § 5.) It was of course attributed to Fau-nus, who was the same with Pan. (Hor. Garni. \. 17. 10.) When the Roman poets had occasion to mention it, they called it fistula, (Virg. Buc. ii. 36, iii. 22, 25 ; Hor. Carm. 'iv. 12. 10 ; Ovid. Met. viii. 192, xiii. 784 ; Mart. xiv. 63 ; Tibull. i. 5. 20.) It was also variously denominated according to the materials of which it was constructed, whether of cane (tenui arundine, Virg. Buc. vi. 8 ; Horn. Hymn, in Pana, 15; Troi^viy Soya/a, Brunck, Anal. i. 489), reed (calamo, Virg. Buc. i. 10, ii. 34, v. 2 ; /caAa/xos-, Theocrit. viii. 24 ; Longus, i. 4), or hemlock (cicuta, Virg. Buc. v. 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 (Virg. Buc. ii. 32, 36); but sometimes nine were admitted, giving an equal number of notes. (Theocrit. viii. 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 lit the form of the lip, instead of arranging them in a plane. (Theocrit. i. 129.) A syrinx of eight reeds is shown in the gem figured on page 846. The an­nexed woodcut is taken from a bas-relief in the collection at Appledurcombe in the Isle of Wight. (Mus. Worsleyanum, pi. 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.

The ancients always considered the Pan's Pipe as a rustic instrument, chiefly used by those who tended flocks and herds (Horn. 21. xviii. 526 ; Apoll. Rhod. i. 577; Dionys. Perieg. 996 ; Longus, i. 2, i. 14—16, ii. 24—26) ; but also admitted to regulate the dance. (Hes. Scut. 278.) The Ly-clians, whose troops marched to military music, employed this together with other instruments for the purpose. (Herod, i. 17.) This instrument was the origin of the organ [hydraula].

The term tr^piy^ was also applied to levels, or narrow subterranean passages, made either in


searching for metals, in mining at the siege of «i city (Polyaen. v. 17), or in forming catacombs for the dead. (Aelian, H. A. vi. 43, xvi. 15.) [J. Y.] SYRMA (fftipfjia), which properly means that which is drawn or dragged (from <rvpw), is applied to a dress with a train. The long Peplos worn by the Trojan matrons was consequently a dress some­what of this kind. (II. vi. 442.) The Syrma, how­ever, was more especially the name of the dress worn by the tragic actors, which had a train to it trailing upon the ground ; xvhence the word is ex­plained by Pollux (vii. 67), as a rpayncbv (popy/Aa eTrurvpo/JLsvov, and is alluded to by Horace (Ar. Poet. 215), in the words,

—— traxitque vagus per pulpita vestem.

(Compare Juv. viii. 229.) Hence we find Syrma used metaphorically for tragedy itself. (Juv. xv. 30 ; Mart. iv. 49.)

SYSSITIA (ffvffffina). The custom of taking-the principal meal of the day in public prevailed extensively amongst the Greeks from very early ages. It existed not only with the Spartans and Cretans, amongst both of whom it was kept up till comparatively recent times, but also at Megara in the age of Theognis (v. 305), and at Corinth in the time of Periander, who it seems abolished the practice as being favourable to aristocracy. (Arist. Pol. v. 9. § 2.) Nor was it confined to the Hellenic nation: for according to Aristotle (Pol. vii. 9), it prevailed still earlier amongst the Oenotrians in the south of Italy, and also at Carthage, the po­litical and social institutions of which state resem­bled those of Sparta and Crete. (Pol. ii. 8.) The origin of the usage cannot be historically estab­lished ; but it seems reasonable to refer it to infant or patriarchal communities, the members of which being intimately connected by the ties of a close political union and kindred, may naturally be sup­posed to have lived together almost as members of the same family. But however and wherever it originated, the natural tendency of such a practice was to bind the citizens of a state in the closest union ; and accordingly we find that at Sparta, Lycurgns availed himself of it for this purpose, though we cannot determine with any certainty whether he introduced it there, or merely perpe­tuated and regulated an institution, which the Spartans brought with them from their mother-country and retained at Sparta as being suitable to their position and agreeable to their national habits. The latter supposition is perhaps the more probable. The Cretan usage Aristotle (Pol. vii. 9) attributes to Minos; this, however, may be considered rather " the philosopher's opinion than as an historical tradition: " but the institution was confessedly of so high antiquity, that the Peloponnesian colonists may well be supposed to have found it already existing in Crete, even if there had been no Dorian settlers in the island before them. (Thiiiwall, Hist, of Greece, vol. i. p> 287.)

The Cretan name for the Syssitia was sAi/5pe?a (Arist. Pol. ii. 7)5 the singular of which is used to denote the building or public hall where they were given. This title affords of itself a sufficient indi­cation that they were confined to men and youths only: a conclusion justified and supported by all the authorities on the subject. (Plat. Leg. vi. p. 780, d.) It is not however improbable, as Hoeck (Creta^ vol. iii. p. 123) suggests, that in some of the Dorian states there were syssitia of the young

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