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The Myth of the God of Tuaron

Tuaron - in Greek mythology, the god who promoted creative natures, endowed people with various talents and charisma, the organizer of festive divine celebrations on Mount Olympus. However, his activities were not limited to ceremonial and patronizing functions, as in later times there were mysteries dedicated to him, of which there is scattered information.

The vagueness of the etymology of the name Tuaron suggests its Malo-Asiatic origin. Most likely, his image combines both creative and destructive elements, indicating its pre-Greek archaic roots. It was probably originally closely linked with a fire cult or a personification of it, which later developed into an inner ecstatic state embracing its followers, a raging creative energy. An argument in favour of this version is also the fact that the mysterious rituals used large quantities of pyrotechnics, apparently oil-based.


In the classical setting, Tuaron is the son of the goddess Aeos, born of her fleeting liaison with Ares, god of war, after which Aphrodite, enraged by her rival, inflicts eternal desire on him. From his mother he got eternal youth and refinement, and from his father unrestrained and strong character. The alternative version is that Tuaron grows old in the evening and becomes young again as soon as the morning dawns.

Hence the widespread plot of the myth, in which this god learned from the shepherds how to play marvellous melodies in an original way. One of his epithets is 'Avletic', indicating his virtuoso mastery of the avlos, a musical instrument representing an ancient flute. Later, Tuaron, or his disciple Famus, is credited with winning the Pythian games because the instrument's sounds were picked up by the river currents and his wind brothers Boreas, Zephyr and Nothus carried the song far over the sea. Thus, Tuaron won favour with Apollo and even the illustrious musicians Orpheus and Linus recognised their defeat as the motif was used everywhere from grand palaces to lost villages.

A notion survives that echoes of that skilful performance still come to poets and musicians in the form of inspiration inspired by the wind or a splash of water. It is for this reason that another nickname for the god Tuaron is "Epicurius", which means "guardian", because he provides all kinds of assistance to gifted people. Along with this appellation, another title has also survived, Everget, which translates as "benefactor", signifying the efficacy of the help he provides.

There is also a heroic myth of Tuaron's confrontation with a chthonic monster, whom he defeated more by his cunning than by the use of force. To achieve his victory, he used a battle horn, whose piercing, powerful rumble brought down the wreckage of rock on his foe, killing him to death.


During the Trojan War, Tuaron provided very passive support to the Trojans, acting as a signalman during attacks and retreats, his battle horn spewing smoke and flame and its sound deafening the Achaeans. Mostly behind the walls he kept up the morale of the warriors by putting on small performances, in between battles.

According to the version of Stesichorus (5th century BC) contradicting Homer, for ten years, while the bloody war was going on, Tuaron was entertaining the real Helen the Beautiful, who was in Egypt all that time waiting for her husband Menelaus.

Tuaron's lovers included both nereids and river nymphs as well as mortal women, but the myths mention the birth of only one son, Tisandre.

Tuaron became important in the Hellenistic period in the Ptolemaic Empire, which became the centre of the arts, science and philosophy. It was here that he found his classical identity as a patron of talent, philanthropist, inspirer and mentor. Unfortunately, no painting has survived, but it is known that he was depicted by the ancient Greek artist Antiphilus (2nd half of the 4th century BC). In general, an idea of Tuaron is given by the surviving composition on a vase in which a seated young man in a laurel wreath with a curved flute is encouraging a prostrate disciple. It is now known that in antiquity there were two sanctuaries dedicated to this god, at Thebes and Canopus.    

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