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Soothing Lyres and epodai: Music Therapy and the Cases of Orpheus, Empedocles and David


Within the frame of the role of music in ancient Greece, this short essay focuses on the soothing effects of the lyre as evidence for the use of music not only for religious or educational purposes, but also for therapeutic ones. The music of the lyre proves useful both for the performer, and for people listening to it. The main two pieces of evidence analyzed, namely Iamblichus, De Vita Pythagorica 113, and, within a different cultural context - the biblical one - 1 Samuel XVI.16, that after many centuries was taken up again by the historian Joseph Flavius (Antiquitates Iudaicae VI 166-169), well illustrate the healing effects of music.