The Marriage of Philology and Mercury - Harmony, Phoebus and Pallas
Type of Spiritual Experience
The Music of the Spheres
A description of the experience
The Marriage of Philology and Mercury – Book IX – Martianus Capella
Harmony walked along between Phoebus and Pallas, a lofty figure, whose melodious head was adorned with ornaments of glittering gold.
Her garment was stiff with incised and laminated gold and it tinkled softly and soothingly with every measured step and movement of her body. Her radiant mother the Paphian – who followed her closely – though she too moved with graceful measure and balanced steps, could scarcely match the gait of her daughter.
In her right hand Harmony bore what appeared to be a shield, circular overall, with many inner circles, the whole interwoven with remarkable configurations. The encompassing circles of this shield were attuned to each other, and from the circular chords there poured forth a concord of all the modes.
From her left hand the maiden suspended at equal length, several small models of theatrical instruments, wrought of gold. No lyre or lute or tetrachord appeared on that circular shield, yet the strains coming from that strange rounded form surpassed those of all musical instruments.
As soon as she entered the hall, a symphony swelled from the shield. All other music – which by contrast with its sweetness sounded dissonant – now became silent.