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Semilegendary Greek poet and musician. He lived at Methymna on the island of Lesbos and is identified as the inventor of the dithyramb. He was sailing homeward after a performing tour when the sailors decided to kill him and steal his wealth. After singing a dirge for himself, he jumped overboard, but a dolphin charmed by his music carried him to shore. He reached Corinth before the ship; when the sailors arrived, the ruler Periander forced them to confess and punished them. Arion's lyre and the dolphin were placed in the heavens as the constellations Lyra and Delphinus.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Arion, visit Britannica.com.