Saturday, March 8, 2014

Word from Mythology: Harmony

Today's word from Greek mythology is HARMONY, which comes from Harmonia, the personification of music and also of harmony in a metaphorical sense, the harmony of concord and peace. The word literally means "well fitted together, well assembled," and it came to refer specifically to the fitting together of tones in musical harmony.

We get some other English words from this root, such as the verb "to harmonize," along with the adjective "harmonic," and the noun "harmonica." The word "philharmonic" is a combination of the Greek phil- (loving) and harmonic.

The image below is a statue of Harmonia in the Harmony Society gardens in Old Economy Village, Pennsylvania.

Harmonia was the wife of Cadmus of Thebes; here you can see Cadmus fighting a dragon, with Harmonia beside him. Harmony is famous for the so-called Necklace of Harmony, a wedding gift that she received and which brought disaster upon anyone who possessed it.