Music and Murder: Aelian, Varia Historia 3.32

“Alexander, the son of Philip, was learning to play the cithara when he was a child and not yet a young man. When his music teacher told him to strike a certain chord with care, the way that cithara-playing required, Alexander asked, “And what difference does it make if I strike this one?”, as he pointed out a different chord. The teacher told him that it made little difference to one who would be king, but it made a great deal of difference to one who would learn how to play the cithara. He then began to fear that he might suffer the same fate as old Linus. Linus was teaching the young Heracles to play the cithara. When Heracles took up the instrument with no musical skill at all, Linus railed at him. Heracles felt irritated by this, so he struck Linus with the plectrum and killed him.”

᾿Αλέξανδρος ὁ Φιλίππου, παῖς ὢν οὔπω πρόσηβος, ἐμάνθανε κιθαρίζειν. τοῦ δὲ διδάσκοντος κροῦσαι κελεύσαντος χορδήν τινα σὺν μέλει καὶ ἣν ἀπῄτει τὰ κιθαρίσματα, ‘καὶ τί διοίσει’ ἔφη ‘ἐὰν ταύτην κρούσω;’ ἑτέραν δείξας. ὃ δὲ οὐδὲν ἔφη διαφέρειν τῷ μέλλοντι βασιλεύσειν ἀλλὰ τῷ ἐπὶ τέχνῃ κιθαρίσειν μέλλοντι. ἔδεισε δὲ ἄρα οὗτος τὸ τοῦ Λίνου πάθος. τὸν γὰρ ῾Ηρακλῆ ὁ Λῖνος ἔτι παῖδα ὄντα κιθαρίζειν ἐπαίδευεν· ἀμουσότερον δὲ ἁπτομένου τοῦ ὀργάνου, ἐχαλέπηνε πρὸς αὐτὸν ὁ Λῖνος. ὃ δὲ ἀγανακτήσας ὁ ῾Ηρακλῆς τῷ πλήκτρῳ τοῦ Λίνου καθίκετο καὶ ἀπέκτεινεν αὐτόν.

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