The universal myth of the mermaid is the myth of the possessive woman, killing her lovers after having made love with them .
At the beginning, mermaids were creatures of the Greek mythology, whose charming sings lured the sailors, leading them to crash their boats on reefs. Everybody knows the famous passage from Homere's Odyssey, where Ulysses is attached to the mast of his boat to listen to the sings of the mermaids
What is less known, is that the first mermaids of the Greek mythology were represented as creatures half-woman, half bird
The creature half-woman, half-fish, which we now knew appeared much later in the story of the myth.
A teratological anomaly, fortunately very rare, called symely, may have taken a part in the genesis of the mythe of the mermaid : il is a fusion of the lower limbs, giving birth to a human being with a kind of fish tail
The mermaids were considered goddesses of the Dead as well as the Harpies and the Furies but they could sometimes be turned into benevolent goddesses through some specific rites.
In general they were a danger for all the sailors who passed in their nearby since they enchanted them with their seducing voices till they lost any control, dived into the sea where they died drowned.
Ulysses was able to save himself and his crew by this lethal destiny thanks to Circe, the enchantress Circe who was in love with Ulysses.She warned him to fill his men’s ears with wax so that theiy could not hear the mermaids’voices but, on the other hand, she advised him to listen to their voices. So Ulysses asked his men to tie him to the mainmast and to let him there no matter what he said or did.
With this devise Ulysses defeated the mermaids who, as a consequence, were condemned to die throwing themselves into the sea.their bodies were driven away along the coast. Parthenepe’s body arrived to the islet of Megaride (where later the Castel dell’Ovo was built ) where it was buried with all the honours due to a divinity.