APOLLO and MARSYAS (after Michelangelo
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A myth by Apollodorus
The Satyr Marsyas was a famous flutist from Phrygia, in today’s Central Turkey, who boasted that he could play the double flute better than Apollo. When Apollo, the god of Music found out, he challenged the Satyr to a musical contest. The victor of the contest would do whatever he wished with the loser and the judges of the contest would be the Muses, the
Greek goddesses of Art and Science.
First played Marsyas on his flute and the melody was wonderful. Then it was Apollo’s turn. Apollo played notes full of harmony with his lyre and his voice was heavenly spellbinding everything around him.
Then Apollo played with his lyre upside down and told Marsyas to do the same, but Marsyas was unable to. So Apollo was declared as the winner of the contest… and the punishment he chose for Marsyas was harsh: Apollo hang Marsyas over a pine tree and flayed him.After Michelangelo