11 Facts About Philomela


Philomela was known as being the "princess of Athens" and the younger of two daughters of Pandion I, King of Athens, and the naiad Zeuxippe.

FactSnippet No. 555,126

Philomela snatched up an axe and pursued them with the intent to kill the sisters.

FactSnippet No. 555,127

Early Greek sources have it that Philomela was turned into a swallow, which has no song; Procne was turned into a nightingale, singing a beautiful but sad song in remorse.

FactSnippet No. 555,128

Later sources, among them Ovid, Hyginus, and the Bibliotheca of Pseudo-Apollodorus, and in modern literature the English romantic poets like Keats write that although she was tongueless, Philomela was turned into a nightingale, and Procne into a swallow.

FactSnippet No. 555,129

Eustathius' version of the story has the sisters reversed, so that Philomela married Tereus and that Tereus lusted after Procne.

FactSnippet No. 555,130

Related searches

Athens Ovid Euripides India

Philomela's implies that the infanticide of Itys did not appear in the Tereus myth until Sophocles' play and that it was introduced because of what was borrowed from Euripides.

FactSnippet No. 555,131

Material of the Philomela myth has been used in various creative works—artistic and literary—for the past 2, 500 years.

FactSnippet No. 555,132

References to Philomela are common in the motets of the ars nova, ars subtilior, and ars mutandi musical eras of the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries.

FactSnippet No. 555,133

Philomela myth is perpetuated largely through its appearance as a powerful device in poetry.

FactSnippet No. 555,134

Philomela describes its song as "encrusted with mythology" and that the evolution of the myth has distorted it—that the opinions of other poets and writers have kept both poet and reader from actually hearing the original sound and knowing the essence of the song.

FactSnippet No. 555,135

Reference to Philomela exists in the name of a Bengali music troupe in Calcutta, India, called Nagar Philomel, formed in 1983.

FactSnippet No. 555,136