Greek Tragedy: The Cranes of Ibycus | Alcyone and Ceyx

Depicted in an illustrative style reminiscent of comic book art, the tales of The Cranes of Ibycus and Alcyone and Ceyx have been presented for the first time in picture book form. The stories are credited as the origins of two expressions which may be lesser used today, but which may still be of interest to students of literature and history.

The former is an adaptation of the German poet Friedrich Schiller's poem regarding the murder of the famous poet Ibykus. In various accounts of this tragedy, the mysterious death of the poet had been witnessed by a flock of cranes. Through a quirk of fate, the same cranes had unwittingly exposed the identity of the murderers eventually. Since then, the expression 'the cranes of Ibycus' has been used in reference to the unveiling of secret crimes.

The well-known Greek myth, Alcyone and Ceyx, tells the story of a loving couple who were separated when one of them had drowned in a shipwreck. The metamorphosis at the climax of the tale is the origin of the expression 'halcyon days' which refers to a peaceful interval in the midst of harsh adversity.