Epitaph of Seikilos

The video quality isn’t so great, but the song is beautiful…and even more amazing when you think about the fact that this is one of the oldest songs that we have in its entirety, and can play note for note just as it would have been played nearly 2000 years ago.

Information about the “Song of Seikilos”:

The song of Seikilos is one of the few preserved compositions of ancient Greek music. It is engraved into a grave pillar that was found 1883 in Aydin in Turkey and is dated between 200 BC and 100 AD.

On the tombstone is an indication that the music composition and poem were composed and written by one Seikilos, for his wife, who presumably is buried there.


According to the same site, there is a poem that accompanies the music with two possible translations:

While you live,
dance and sing,
be joyful:
For life is short,
And Time carries away his prize.


As long as you live, shine,
Let nothing grieve you beyond measure.
For your life is short,
and time will claim its toll.

Either way, it is an incredibly lovely (and true) sentiment.


About thalassa

Occasionally doting wife, damn proud momma of two adorable children, veteran of the United States Navy, semi-steampunk bohemian beach addict from middle America, Civil War reenactor and Victorian natural history aficionado, canoeing and kayaking and paddleboarding fanatic, Unitarian Universalist and pantheistic Pagan, devotee of various aquatic deities, and practitioner of bioregional witchery View all posts by thalassa

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