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Опубликовано 28.01.2016 в 11:44, статья, раздел , рубрика
автор: ОК-журнал

Все ОНЛАЙН-трансляции

Прямая трансляция исторической встречи Патриарха Московского и всея Руси Кирилла и Папы Римского Франциска

Mermaids and Marine knights

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According to ancient Greek myths, sea demons with the body of a bird and the face of a woman lived on the rocks near the shores of the Tyrrhenian Sea. These so-called sirens were dazzling beauties singing the most wonderful songs. Bewitched by the beauty of the sirens and their voices, the sailors would be drawn to the rocks. Their boats got smashed and the crew would drown.The Church used the story as a warning to the people of the Middle Ages. Giving in to temptation and lust was considered a sin. As a reminder, images of mermaids were put up everywhere in churches, monasteries and cathedrals. The later transition from sea demon to mermaid with fish tail is both remarkable and confusing. Experts suggest that the image of the siren got mixed with that of the scylla, a fabled creature with a fish tail that strongly resembles a mermaid. From the year 1200 onwards, the siren would commonly be depicted with a fish tail, making it virtually indistinguishable from a mermaid.Sailors kept the fantastic stories of the mermaids alive by sharing them with the people back home. Many claimed to have spotted mermaids among the seething waves. Even the explorer Columbus is said to have several encounters with mermaids. ‘They weren’t half as pretty as in the paintings,’ he wrote in his journal on the 9th January of the year 1493. Unfortunately for Columbus and all those other seamen, what they probably saw weren’t mermaids but sea cows. According to experts, the body of a sea cow drifting among the waves can easily be mistaken for a female body. This would be the only scientific explanation of the sightings.

Mermaids and Marine knights

Shifting our attention to what's going on in the river in the background, the scene with the mermaid and the knight leaps to the eye. In these waters - maybe once the rivers of paradise – the two are making broad arm gestures, and it seems as though the knight is trying to embrace the mermaid. Both have a lower fish body. Giving in to primal passions and lust, these figures are not very different from the animals. Also, the man wearing armour may be an ironic touch, considering that his behaviour is anything but chivalrous. They are absorbed with each other to the point where they lose sight of the world around them, their unbridled lust driving them into each other’s arms.

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