I'm trying to find sources to explain the "according to ancient myth" statement that opens almost every website on the island of Thassos that it is the Island of the Sirens. I guess it could just be a tourist board dream but it does seem well established. I can't find a link, but the Thessalonike legend may give at least a geographical connection? Any thoughts?

Hi; sorry I'll try to be a bit more specific... If for example you type 'Thassos and sirens' into Google several pages of general touristic sites will state (Greeka.com for instance, the second site listed) 'According to an ancient myth, Thassos is the island of sirens'.. this obviously gets copied and repeated , it's the nature of the internet, I understand. I'm just looking for any justification for the claim, however thin. I am aware of the sculpture of Thessalonike and the Kazantzakis inscription on Thassos but not altogether sure why it's there apart from this seemingly accepted 'island of the Sirens' claim and general geography (general geography compared with the west coast of Italy that is, and any other Homeric location). The Thessalonike thing is just a distraction unless she is connected in some way to Thassos and that in turn gave the island some Sirenic credibility, at least to the tourist board.


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As you say, first page result of googling 'Thassos and sirens' brings two touristic websites, but they seem rather dubious.

The first one mixes sirens with mermaids:

According to an ancient myth, Thassos was the island of the Sirens, the devilish women with a fish tail. It is said that they had such a beautiful voice that every men who heard them sing, fell under their spell. The sirens would afterwards devour the enchanted one. In the famous Wanderings of Ulysses (Odysseus in Greek), the sirens who tried to enchant him are supposed to be living in Thassos.

Source: www.greeka.com (emphasis mine)

The second one just says:

There are also some researchers that link Thassos with the Sirens.

Source: www.thassos-view.com

But I have not found any classical source for Thasos/Thassos as the island of the sirens. They all consistently mention Anthemusa or, in later Latin sources, the Sirenum scopuli.

From the Sirens entry in A Dictionary of Greek and Roman biography and mythology:

Their place of abode is likewise different in the different traditions, for some place them on cape Pelorum others in the island of Anthemusa, and others again in the Sirenusian islands near Paestum, or in Capreae.

All these islands are near Italy, because it is traditionally assumed that when the Argonauts and later Odysseus meet the sirens in their voyages, both crews were sailing around Italy (Magna Grecia).

I doubt very much that a sailing people like the ancient Greeks would admire these heroes that got lost that relatively close to their homes, if indeed they thought Thasos was the island of the sirens.

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