Migrating Musical Myths

The Case of the Libyan Aulos

in Greek and Roman Musical Studies
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Abstract

Allusions to the ‘Libyan aulos’ or ‘Libyan lōtos’ are quite common in Euripides, but occur nowhere in earlier texts and only sporadically later. The identity of the instrument to which these unusual expressions refer is something of a mystery. I argue that it cannot be a special kind of instrument distinct from the familiar aulos, but that the designation reflects a mythological tradition, difficult but by no means impossible to trace in our sources, according to which the aulos and its music originated in North Africa rather than in Phrygia, where the more familiar legends locate it.

Migrating Musical Myths

The Case of the Libyan Aulos

in Greek and Roman Musical Studies

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