The harpē (ἅρπη) was a type of sword or sickle; a sword with a sickle protrusion along one edge near the tip of the blade. The harpe is mentioned in Greek and Roman sources, and almost always in mythological contexts.

The harpe sword is most notably identified as the weapon used by Cronus to castrate and depose his father, Uranus. Alternately, that weapon is identified as a more traditional sickle or scythe. The harpe, scythe or sickle was either a flint or adamantine (diamond) blade, and was provided to Cronus by his mother, Gaia. According to an ancient myth recorded in Hesiod's Theogony, Uranus had cast his and Gaia's children, the Cyclopes and Hecatonchires, down into Tartarus. The enraged Gaia plotted Uranus' downfall. She beseeched each of her sons to rise up against Uranus but was refused by all but the youngest, Cronus. So, Gaia provided him with the weapon, and when Uranus next came to lay with Gaia, Cronus leapt up into action and castrated his father, overthrowing him and driving him away forever. Thus the blade (whether harpe, sickle or scythe) became a symbol of Cronus's power.

Perseus, a grandson of Cronus, is also regularly depicted in statues and sculpture armed with a harpe sword in his quest to slay the Gorgon, Medusa, and recover her head to use against Ceto. Perseus was provided with such a sword by his father, Zeus (Cronus' youngest son and later overthrower).

In Greek and Roman art it is variously depicted, but it seems that originally it was a khopesh-like sickle-sword. Later depictions often show it as a combination of a sword and sickle, and this odd interpretation is explicitly described in the 2nd century Leucippe and Clitophon .[1]

"Perseus with the Head of Medusa" depicts Perseus armed with a harpe sword when he beheaded Medusa.

See also


  1. ^ Achilles Tatius, Leucippe and Clitophon 3.7.8—9: neither shall they die in the right hand, neither shall they die, nor shall the sword be broken. If a man falls under my face, and if one half of the iron sword is in danger of dying, it is not.
Bi-County Conference

The Bi-County Conference was a high school conference in western central Illinois. The conference par in athletics and activities in the Illinois High School Association (IHSA). The conference comprised nine public high schools with small enrollments in portions of Fulton, Hancock, Henderson, McDonough, and Warren counties.

Darryl de la Harpe

Darryl Pierce de la Harpe (born 10 February 1986) is a Namibian rugby union player. He was named in Namibia's squad for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

Disco, Illinois

Disco is an unincorporated community in Durham and La Harpe Townships, Hancock County, Illinois, United States. Disco is 4 miles (6.4 km) northwest of La Harpe, and is on the Keokuk Junction Railway.

Durham, Illinois

Durham is an unincorporated community in Hancock County, Illinois, United States. Durham is 6 miles (9.7 km) west of La Harpe.

Erie Panthers

The Erie Panthers were a professional hockey team, and one of the founding members in the East Coast Hockey League. Based in Erie, Pennsylvania from 1988 to 1996, they were one of the most prolific teams in the ECHL. The Panthers were known for their ability to score goals quickly and often, as well as for the over-aggressive style of play that led to an abundance of fights. They currently hold records in 15 different categories in the ECHL and are in the top 5 of 38 different categories.

Frédéric-César de La Harpe

Frédéric-César de La Harpe (6 April 1754 in Rolle, Vaud, Switzerland – 30 March 1838 in Lausanne, Switzerland) was a Swiss political leader, scholar, and Vaudois patriot best known for his pivotal role in the formation of the Helvetic Republic, and for serving as a member of the Helvetic Directory. He was a personal teacher of Alexander I of Russia and educated him in ideals of the Lumières.

Hao (French Polynesia)

Hao, or Haorangi, is a large coral atoll in the central part of the Tuamotu Archipelago. It has c. 1000 people living on 35 km². It was used to house the military support base for the nuclear tests on Mururoa. Because of its shape, French explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville named it "Île de la Harpe" (Harp Island).

Harpe brothers

Micajah "Big" Harpe, born Joshua Harper (before 1768 – August 1799), and Wiley "Little" Harpe, born William Harper (before 1770 – February 8, 1804), were murderers, highwaymen, and river pirates who operated in Tennessee, Kentucky, Illinois, and Mississippi in the late 18th century. They are often considered the earliest documented serial killers in the United States, reckoned from the colonial era forward.Loyal to the British Crown during the American Revolution, the Harpes became outlaws after the war and began robbing and killing settlers in the remote frontier west of the Appalachian Mountains. They are believed to have killed thirty-nine people, and possibly as many as fifty. As the Harpes' crimes gained notoriety, vigilante groups formed to avenge their victims, and they were eventually tracked down and executed around the turn of the century. Their legendary savagery has since entered American folklore, appearing to have been motivated more by blood lust than financial gain.

Jean-Baptiste Bénard de la Harpe

Jean-Baptiste Bénard de la Harpe (4 February 1683 in Saint-Malo – 26 September 1765) was a French explorer who is credited with the discovery of Little Rock, Arkansas. He was the first known French explorer to set foot in the future state of Oklahoma.

Jean-François de La Harpe

Jean-François de La Harpe (20 November 1739 – 11 February 1803) was a French playwright, writer and literary critic.

Josef Harpe

Josef Harpe (21 September 1887 – 14 March 1968) was a German general during World War II who commanded the 9th Army. He was a recipient of the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves and Swords of Nazi Germany.

Harpe served on the Eastern Front, where he commanded XXXXI Panzer Corps and the 9th Army. From September 1944 to January 1945 Army Group A, when he was relieved of his command due to the inability of German forces to stop the Soviet Vistula–Oder Offensive. He ended the war commanding the 5th Panzer Army on Western Front.

La Harpe, Illinois

La Harpe is a city in Hancock County, Illinois, United States. The population was 1,235 at the 2010 census, down from 1,385 at the 2000 census.

La Harpe, Kansas

La Harpe is a city in Allen County, Kansas, United States. As of the 2010 census, the city population was 578.

La Harpe Township, Hancock County, Illinois

La Harpe Township is one of twenty-four townships in Hancock County, Illinois, USA. As of the 2010 census, its population was 1,473 and it contained 714 housing units.La Harpe Township was named for Jean-Baptiste Bénard de la Harpe, a French explorer.


The luthéal is a kind of hybrid piano which extended the "register" possibilities of a piano by producing cimbalon-like sounds in some registers, exploiting harmonics of the strings when pulling other register-stops, and also some registers making other objects, which were lowered just above the strings, resound. The instrument became obsolete partly because most of its mechanics were too sensitive, needing constant adjustment. The only pieces in the general repertoire to feature the luthéal are L'enfant et les sortilèges (1920–25) and Tzigane (1924) by Maurice Ravel.

Nordic harp

The Nordic harp (Norwegian: bondeharpe, bygdeharpe, folkeharpe, trekantharpe) is the Norwegian variant of the classical harp (Norwegian: byharper). The Nordic harp had fallen from use in Norway by 1823, but has since been rediscovered.


Rolle is a municipality in the Canton of Vaud in Switzerland. It was the seat of the district of Rolle until 2006, when it became part of the district of Nyon. It is located on the northwestern shore of Lake Geneva (Lac Léman) between Nyon and Lausanne. Rolle is approximately 30 kilometers (19 mi) northeast of Geneva (Genève) in the La Côte wine-growing region, and has views of the high Alps.Rolle is also the birthplace of Frédéric-César de la Harpe (1754–1838), who was the tutor of Alexander I of Russia and was largely responsible for the independence of the Canton of Vaud from the Bernese.

The Burmese Harp

The Burmese Harp (ビルマの竪琴, Biruma no tategoto), also known as Harp of Burma, is a children's novel by Michio Takeyama. It was first published in 1946 and was the basis of two films by Kon Ichikawa – one released in 1956 and a color remake in 1985. Both films were major successes. A translation of the novel into English by Howard Hibbett was published in 1966 by Charles E. Tuttle Company in cooperation with UNESCO (ISBN 0-8048-0232-7).

Winfield S. Harpe

Winfield Scott Harpe (January 12, 1937 – December 5, 1988) was a United States Air Force officer who served during the Vietnam War and Cold War.

General Harpe died during an attempted forced landing after a technical failure while on a routine training mission outside of Madrid, in Spain.

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