Project Information

Sculptor’s Cave: Complete retopology workflow: Maya–>Marmoset Toolbag–>Substance Painter –> Unity

This series of 3D modelling workflow posts outlines the many steps that go into retopologizing and texturizing a mesh.  For this series of ‘tutorials’ I will venture throught the processes that are needed to go from a complex mesh with millions of faces, mesh errors, and unusual topology, to a clean, detailed, and attractive mesh.

For these steps you will need:

  1. A mesh with too many faces
  2. Maya
  3. Meshlab or Zbrush
  4. Marmoset Toolbag
  5. Subtsance Painter


Retopology will allow you to make a greatly decreased (and cleaned) version of your mesh with sensible UV and normal maps.


It is advisable to start by making your mesh with as large quads as possible and smooth your way down to the correct topology.  This is especially true with a large and unusual mesh that will need to be extracted (broken up into connected pieces) so you can generate good UVs to take with you to Marmoset toolbag.

In the case of Sculptor’s cave, I chose to

  1. paper the entire mesh with large quads
  2. smooth and relax them to the most reasonable resolution
  3. Name your chunks sensible things that you can remember.  1, 2, 3 might make sense for you, but you might be better off naming your chunks in ways that make it clear what the mesh should be.
  4. extract those quads into separate ‘layers’
  5. try to keep these layers as flat as you can.  Cut it up like wallpaper: if your irl wallpaper would not lay flat on a surface, cut it. (within reason– don’t go nuts)
  6. A common naming convention for marmoset toolbag is to make your chunk “chunkName_Low” or “x_LowPoly”.  You can always leave it and name it when upon export.


Make Sensible UV sets

After you have created a smoothed your nice quad mesh, you should make UVS.  The reason you do this is so that you can properly texture your mesh.  If your UVs are all messy or wrong, your maps will not look right and your details will not transfer properly.  This takes practice and you will need to tailor how they wrap on your surface for the type of object you are going for and what you need to do.

If you have never tried this before, watch this video.  It has annoying music, but has a decent overview:


In the case of sculptor’s cave, there are a number of perspective judgements that I need to make per chunk.  For example, I need to render the UVs from the camera perspective in cases where the viewer can only look up (i.e. a cliff edge), or a set of parallel UVs for areas with carving that can be viewed by walking along a single plane.

Some general guidelines for generating UVs for caves:

  1. adjust camera to face the object from a human perspective (i.e. if it is a cave wall, the camera should face it at a reasonable height and from a realistic distance.  If it is a cliff, the camera can be below it).  Rendering objects from the wrong perspective will give you more opportunities for  distortion.  This is very cool if you are making an abstract expressionist model, but realism will need to take multiple perspectives into account.
  2. It is not terribly important to subdivide every nook and cranny of a cliff wall (even if the UVs are a little distorted).  These things are uneven in nature and you can probably smudge it later on.


If your UVs look funny or are ’tiling’, check and make sure your UVs are in the default UV map.  Having too many UVs will export only the default and it will not work well.


Export your Low Poly Mesh

I dont know about these plugins and cant say if they are “The best”, but this video clearly shows you how to format your fbx for export to Marmoset Toolbag:

Transferring Details using Marmoset Toolbag:



Substance Painter:


Making Rocks

Sound in the Suda

Thus Pan is called, either because he aided the Athenians in the sea-battle,[1] or because he hunted Typhon with nets,[2] or because seamen honor Pan as an established god, or because [he is] loud-voiced in the dance, roaring like the sea, or because he is in love with Echo; the sea [is] noisy. Pan is a patron of dances.

[Meaning] being derived from something by reflection/reverberation. This comes from sound, whenever there is an echo, or at the light of the sun, whenever it strikes something smooth or very bright water.

“But often, like some echo, I struck up a clamorous, mocking harmony with responsive lips, now I fall down voiceless and tongueless and lie on the earth, having renounced my zealous mimicry”.[3]


Byzantion in the reign of Severus, emperor of the Romans, was provided with a proper wall made of mill stone carved into rectangular blocks. There were seven towers stretching from the Thracian Gates down to the sea. If someone shouted or broke off a piece of stone in the first of these, it would echo and babble and cause the second one to do the same; and thus it would proceed through all of them.[1]
See more about Byzantion under ‘Severus‘.[2]

“No longer, o rustic partridge, will you echo in the shady wooded copse, sending forth your voice from your mouth.”[2]

[Meaning] they were striking, they were hitting, they were slandering.[1] “Having recognized [him] they stood around [him], then were smiting him with reproaches on one side and the other.” Meaning all of them unanimously.[2]
And elsewhere: “but he held a large drum in his flying hand, he struck [it], and he made the whole cave echo with its clanging.”[3]

When the Celts engaged with the Romans “the throng of buglers and trumpeters was innumerable. With the whole army singing a paian at the same time there was an accumulation of noise such as to make the surrounding terrain echo and seem to project a startling sound.”[2]

“And often shouting [sic] a taunting harmony, clamorous like some kind of echo, with lips singing in response.”[2]

In Seriphians[1] [this means] to make empty. From a certain Telenikos, probably, an utter pauper. The phrase ‘Telenician echo‘ is also used, as a metaphor from empty vessels.[2]

IFor Cratinus praised himself in Putine saying: “Lord Apollo, the springs of the flow of verses resound, a twelve-spouted mouth, I would say Ilissos in the throat, will inundate with words unless someone stops up his mouth.”[1]

[sc. A proverbial phrase] in reference to those who speak a little. For Demon says that the oracle of Zeus at Dodona is surrounded by cauldrons in a circle. They touch each other, and when one is struck all of them resound in succession, so that the sound continues to go around for a long time.[1] But Aristotle, refuting this story as a fiction, says that there are two pillars, and on one of them a cauldron and on the other a boy holding a whip. The thongs of this are of bronze and when they are shaken by the wind they strike against the cauldron, and when it is struck it resounds.[2] Menander uses the proverb in Pipers.[3] […] in reply to Demon:[4] if there were many [cauldrons], the proverb would not be stated in the singular.


Sound in Romance of the Rose

Skillful Concealment was a very good warrior, a wise and wily 
earthly lord. In his hand he held a quiet sword, one like a tongue 
cut out. He brandished it without making any noise, so that one 
did not hear it a fathom off. No matter how strongly it was bran- 
dished, it gave off neither sound nor echo. His shield was made of a 
hidden place where no chicken ever laid an egg; it was bordered 
with safe outings and secret returns. He raised his sword and 
struck Shame such a blow that he almost killed her. Shame was 
completely dazed from it.
Then I drew a silver needle from a dainty little needlecase and 
threaded it. I had a desire to go out of the town to hear the sound 
of birds who, in that new season, were singing among the trees. I 
stitched up my sleeves in zigzag lacing and set out, quite alone, to 
enjoy myself listening to the birds who were straining themselves 
to sing because the gardens were bursting into bloom.
“This river runs so pleasantly, with such a murmuring, that 
it thrums and strums and sounds sweeter than a drum or tam- 
bourine; there is no one who goes that way whose heart is not 
brightened. There are many who, hastening to enter there, are 
stopped at the entrance and have no power to go farther. They 
go on, hardly wetting their feet, and scarcely touch the sweet 
waters, no matter how close they come to the river. They drink no

Sound in Orpheus

When the funeral was finished, when the pyre had burned and the heat of the fire’s heart had consumed the house of bone, Orpheus picked up his lyre and set off on a great journey. He travelled over land and sea until he came to a dark cave. He made his way through tunnels that wound to the left and right. He delved into darkness. At last he came to the edge of an oily, black river, the river of forgetfulness. On the far side of it he could see the shadowy hills of the country he was seeking. He was looking across towards the land of the dead. Orpheus stared over the water, with only the thought of Eurydice in his mind. How could his lovely bride be there, in that strange dark place? Suddenly there came the sound of growling, then a harsh barking. Out of the shadows the great three-headed dog Cerberus, who guards the river bank, leapt at Orpheus, his
lips curled back from his teeth. Orpheus lifted his lyre to his shoulder and began to play; and such was the beauty of his music that the monstrous dog stopped in his tracks, wagged his tail, closed his six red eyes, rolled onto his back and howled with his three heads. The beauty of the music floated out across the water and reached the ears of Charon, the ferryman. He poled his boat towards the sound. Orpheus never stopped playing his lyre. He stepped from the bank into the boat and the ancient ferryman pushed away from the land and poled his boat across the river. When they reached the far side, Orpheus, still playing, jumped from the boat and walked into the shadows.
Soon there was a whispering around him, a rustling, a shuffling, like the sound of the wind blowing through dead leaves: the dead were gathering. They were following him. They were enchanted by his music. It made them weep for sorrows they could not remember any more; it made them laugh for joys that were forgotten, for the dead have lost all memory of their lives. They’re a drifting host of whispering ghosts.



Sound in Ovid’s Metamorphosis

Now all undrest the shining Goddess stood, 
When young Actaeon, wilder'd in the wood, 
To the cool grott by his hard fate betray'd, 
The fountains fill'd with naked nymphs survey'd. 
The frighted virgins shriek'd at the surprize 
(The forest echo'd with their piercing cries). 
Then in a huddle round their Goddess prest: 
She, proudly eminent above the rest, 
With blushes glow'd; such blushes as adorn 
The ruddy welkin, or the purple morn; 
And tho' the crowding nymphs her body hide, 
Half backward shrunk, and view'd him from a side. 
Surpriz'd, at first she would have snatch'd her bow, 
But sees the circling waters round her flow; 
These in the hollow of her hand she took, 
And dash'd 'em in his face, while thus she spoke: 
"Tell, if thou can'st, the wond'rous sight disclos'd, 
A Goddess naked to thy view expos'd."

But Pentheus, grown more furious than before, 
Resolv'd to send his messengers no more, 
But went himself to the distracted throng, 
Where high Cithaeron echo'd with their song. 
And as the fiery war-horse paws the ground, 
And snorts and trembles at the trumpet's sound; 
Transported thus he heard the frantick rout, 
And rav'd and madden'd at the distant shout.

From hence the boar was rous'd, and sprung amain, 
Like lightning sudden, on the warrior train; 
Beats down the trees before him, shakes the ground. 
The forest echoes to the crackling sound; 
Shout the fierce youth, and clamours ring around. 
All stood with their protended spears prepar'd, 
With broad steel heads the brandish'd weapons glar'd. 
The beast impetuous with his tusks aside 
Deals glancing wounds; the fearful dogs divide: 
All spend their mouths aloof, but none abide. 
Echion threw the first, but miss'd his mark, 
And stuck his boar-spear on a maple's bark. 
Then Jason; and his javelin seem'd to take, 
But fail'd with over-force, and whiz'd above his back. 
Mopsus was next; but e'er he threw, address'd 
To Phoebus, thus: O patron, help thy priest: 
If I adore, and ever have ador'd 
Thy pow'r divine, thy present aid afford; 
That I may reach the beast. The God allow'd 
His pray'r, and smiling, gave him what he cou'd: 
He reach'd the savage, but no blood he drew: 
Dian unarm'd the javelin, as it flew. 

Th' unwitting hero takes the gift in haste, 
And o'er his shoulders Lerna's poison cast, 
As first the fire with frankincense he strows, 
And utters to the Gods his holy vows; 
And on the marble altar's polish'd frame 
Pours forth the grapy stream; the rising flame 
Sudden dissolves the subtle pois'nous juice, 
Which taints his blood, and all his nerves bedews. 
With wonted fortitude he bore the smart, 
And not a groan confess'd his burning heart. 
At length his patience was subdu'd by pain, 
He rends the sacred altar from the plain; 
Oete's wide forests echo with his cries: 
Now to rip off the deathful robe he tries. 
Where-e'er he plucks the vest, the skin he tears, 
The mangled muscles, and huge bones he bares 
(A ghastful sight!), or raging with his pain, 
To rend the sticking plague he tugs in vain. 

Some of our men who strove to drive him thence, 
Torn by his teeth, have dy'd in their defence. 
The echoing lakes, the sea, and fields, and shore, 
Impurpled blush with streams of reeking gore. 
Delay is loss, nor have we time for thought; 
While yet some few remain alive, we ought 
To seize our arms, and with confederate force 
Try if we so can stop his bloody course. 

ull in the midst of this created space, 
Betwixt Heav'n, Earth, and skies, there stands a place, 
Confining on all three, with triple bound; 
Whence all things, tho' remote, are view'd around; 
And thither bring their undulating sound. 
The palace of loud Fame, her seat of pow'r, 
Plac'd on the summet of a lofty tow'r; 
A thousand winding entries long and wide, 
Receive of fresh reports a flowing tide. 
A thousand crannies in the walls are made; 
Nor gate, nor bars exclude the busie trade. 
'Tis built of brass, the better to diffuse 
The spreading sounds, and multiply the news: 
Where eccho's in repeated eccho's play: 
A mart for ever full, and open night and day.
Nor silence is within, nor voice express, 
But a deaf noise of sounds, that never cease. 
Confus'd and chiding, like the hollow roar 
Of tides, receding from th' insulted shore, 
Or like the broken thunder heard from far, 
When Jove at distance drives the rouling war. 
The courts are fill'd with a tumultuous din 
Of crouds, or issuing forth, or entring in: 
A thorough-fare of news: where some devise 
Things never heard, some mingle truth with lies; 
The troubled air with empty sounds they beat, 
Intent to hear, and eager to repeat. 
Error sits brooding there, with added train 
Of vain credulity, and joys as vain: 
Suspicion, with sedition join'd, are near, 
And rumours rais'd, and murmurs mix'd, and panique fear.

The cave resounds with female shrieks; we rise, 
Mad with revenge to make a swift reprise: 
And Theseus first, What phrenzy has possess'd, 
O Eurytus, he cry'd, thy brutal breast, 
To wrong Perithous, and not him alone, 
But while I live, two friends conjoyn'd in one? 

Uncertain from what hand, a flying dart 
At Cyllarus was sent; which pierc'd his heart. 
The jav'lin drawn from out the mortal wound, 
He faints with stagg'ring steps; and seeks the ground: 
The fair within her arms receiv'd his fall, 
And strove his wand'ring spirits to recall: 
And while her hand the streaming blood oppos'd, 
Join'd face to face, his lips with hers she clos'd. 
Stifled with kisses, a sweet death he dies; 
She fills the fields with undistinguish'd cries; 
At least her words were in her clamour drown'd; 
For my stunn'd ears receiv'd no vocal sound. 
In madness of her grief, she seiz'd the dart 
New-drawn, and reeking from her lover's heart; 
To her bare bosom the sharp point apply'd; 
And wounded fell; and falling by his side, 
Embrac'd him in her arms; and thus embracing dy'd. 

As when an earthquake stirs th' Idaean grove. 
Doubtful his death: he suffocated seem'd, 
To most; but otherwise our Mopsus deem'd, 
Who said he saw a yellow bird arise 
From out the piles, and cleave the liquid skies: 
I saw it too, with golden feathers bright; 
Nor e'er before beheld so strange a sight. 
Whom Mopsus viewing, as it soar'd around 
Our troop, and heard the pinions' rattling sound, 
All hail, he cry'd, thy country's grace and love! 
Once first of men below, now first of birds above. 
Its author to the story gave belief: 
For us, our courage was increas'd by grief: 
Asham'd to see a single man, pursu'd 
With odds, to sink beneath a multitude, 
We push'd the foe: and forc'd to shameful flight, 
Part fell, and part escap'd by favour of the night. 

With Troy old Priam falls: his queen survives; 
'Till all her woes compleat, transform'd she grieves 
In borrow'd sounds, nor with an human face, 
Barking tremendous o'er the plains of Thrace. 
Still Ilium's flames their pointed columns raise, 
And the red Hellespont reflects the blaze. 
Shed on Jove's altar are the poor remains 
Of blood, which trickl'd from old Priam's veins. 
Cassandra lifts her hands to Heav'n in vain, 
Drag'd by her sacred hair; the trembling train 
Of matrons to their burning temples fly: 
There to their Gods for kind protection cry; 
And to their statues cling 'till forc'd away, 
The victor Greeks bear off th' invidious prey. 
From those high tow'rs Astyanax is thrown, 
Whence he was wont with pleasure to look down. 
When oft his mother with a fond delight 
Pointed to view his father's rage in fight, 
To win renown, and guard his country's right. 

The winds now call to sea; brisk northern gales 
Sing in the shrowds, and court the spreading sails. 
Farewel, dear Troy, the captive matrons cry; 
Yes, we must leave our long-lov'd native sky. 
Then prostrate on the shore they kiss the sand, 
And quit the smoking ruines of the land. 
Last Hecuba on board, sad sight! appears; 
Found weeping o'er her children's sepulchres: 
Drag'd by Ulysses from her slaughter'd sons, 
Whilst yet she graspt their tombs, and kist their mouldring bones.

A promontory, sharp'ning by degrees, 
Ends in a wedge, and overlooks the seas: 
On either side, below, the water flows; 
This airy walk the giant lover chose. 
Here on the midst he sate; his flocks, unled, 
Their shepherd follow'd, and securely fed. 
A pine so burly, and of length so vast, 
That sailing ships requir'd it for a mast, 
He wielded for a staff, his steps to guide: 
But laid it by, his whistle while he try'd. 
A hundred reeds of a prodigious growth, 
Scarce made a pipe, proportion'd to his mouth: 
Which when he gave it wind, the rocks around, 
And watry plains, the dreadful hiss resound. 
I heard the ruffian-shepherd rudely blow, 
Where, in a hollow cave, I sat below; 
On Acis' bosom I my head reclin'd: 
And still preserve the poem in my mind.
Thus far unseen I saw: when fatal chance, 
His looks directing, with a sudden glance, 
Acis and I were to his sight betray'd; 
Where, nought suspecting, we securely play'd. 
From his wide mouth a bellowing cry he cast, 
I see, I see; but this shall be your last: 
A roar so loud made Aetna to rebound: 
And all the Cyclops labour'd in the sound. 

Thus far unseen I saw: when fatal chance, 
His looks directing, with a sudden glance, 
Acis and I were to his sight betray'd; 
Where, nought suspecting, we securely play'd. 
From his wide mouth a bellowing cry he cast, 
I see, I see; but this shall be your last: 
A roar so loud made Aetna to rebound: 
And all the Cyclops labour'd in the sound. 
Affrighted with his monstrous voice, I fled, 
And in the neighbouring ocean plung'd my head. 
Poor Acis turn'd his back, and Help, he cry'd, 
Help, Galatea, help, my parent Gods, 
And take me dying to your deep abodes. 
The Cyclops follow'd; but he sent before 
A rib, which from the living rock he tore: 
Though but an angle reach'd him of the stone, 
The mighty fragment was enough alone, 
To crush all Acis; 'twas too late to save, 
But what the Fates allow'd to give, I gave: 
That Acis to his lineage should return; 
And rowl, among the river Gods, his urn. 
Straight issu'd from the stone a stream of blood; 
Which lost the purple, mingling with the flood, 
Then, like a troubled torrent, it appear'd: 
The torrent too, in little space, was clear'd. 
The stone was cleft, and through the yawning chink 
New reeds arose, on the new river's brink. 
The rock, from out its hollow womb, disclos'd 
A sound like water in its course oppos'd, 
When (wond'rous to behold), full in the flood, 
Up starts a youth, and navel high he stood. 
Horns from his temples rise; and either horn 
Thick wreaths of reeds (his native growth) adorn. 
Were not his stature taller than before, 
His bulk augmented, and his beauty more, 
His colour blue; for Acis he might pass: 
And Acis chang'd into a stream he was, 
But mine no more; he rowls along the plains 
With rapid motion, and his name retains.

This Glaucus soon perceiv'd; and, Oh! forbear 
(His hand supporting on a rock lay near), 
Forbear, he cry'd, fond maid, this needless fear. 
Nor fish am I, nor monster of the main, 
But equal with the watry Gods I reign; 
Nor Proteus, nor Palaemon me excell, 
Nor he whose breath inspires the sounding shell. 

Not far from shore, there lies a verdant mead, 
With herbage half, and half with water spread: 
There, nor the horned heifers browsing stray, 
Nor shaggy kids, nor wanton lambkins play; 
There, nor the sounding bees their nectar cull, 
Nor rural swains their genial chaplets pull, 
Nor flocks, nor herds, nor mowers haunt the place, 
To crop the flow'rs, or cut the bushy grass: 
Thither, sure first of living race came I, 
And sat by chance, my dropping nets to dry.

Now Glaucus, with a lover's haste, bounds o'er 
The swelling waves, and seeks the Latian shore. 
Messena, Rhegium, and the barren coast 
Of flaming Aetna, to his sight are lost: 
At length he gains the Tyrrhene seas, and views 
The hills where baneful philters Circe brews; 
Monsters, in various forms, around her press; 
As thus the God salutes the sorceress. 
O Circe, be indulgent to my grief, 
And give a love-sick deity relief. 
Too well the mighty pow'r of plants I know, 
To those my figure, and new Fate I owe. 
Against Messena, on th' Ausonian coast, 
I Scylla view'd, and from that hour was lost. 
In tend'rest sounds I su'd; but still the fair 
Was deaf to vows, and pityless to pray'r. 
If numbers can avail, exert their pow'r; 
Or energy of plants, if plants have more. 
I ask no cure; let but the virgin pine 
With dying pangs, or agonies, like mine.

Sound in Aristotle

An echo occurs, when, a mass of air having been unified,
bounded, and prevented from dissipation by the containing
walls of a vessel, the air originally struck by the impinging body
and set in movement by it rebounds from this mass of air like a
ball from a wall. It is probable that in all generation of sound
echo takes place, though it is frequently only indistinctly heard.
What happens here must be analogous to what happens in the
case of light; light is always reflected – otherwise it would not
be diffused and outside what was directly illuminated by the
sun there would be blank darkness; but this reflected light is
not always strong enough, as it is when it is reflected from
water, bronze, and other smooth bodies, to cast a shadow, which
is the distinguishing mark by which we recognize light.


What has the power of producing sound is what has the power
of setting in movement a single mass of air which is continuous
from the impinging body up to the organ of hearing. The organ
of hearing is physically united with air, and because it is in air,
the air inside is moved concurrently with the air outside. Hence
animals do not hear with all parts of their bodies, nor do all
parts admit of the entrance of air; for even the part which can
be moved and can sound has not air everywhere in it. Air in
itself is, owing to its friability, quite soundless; only when its
dissipation is prevented is its movement sound. The air in the
ear is built into a chamber just to prevent this dissipating
movement, in order that the animal may accurately apprehend
all varieties of the movements of the air outside. That is why we
hear also in water, viz. because the water cannot get into the air
chamber or even, owing to the spirals, into the outer ear. If this
does happen, hearing ceases, as it also does if the tympanic
membrane is damaged, just as sight ceases if the membrane
covering the pupil is damaged. It is also a test of deafness
whether the ear does or does not reverberate like a horn; the air
inside the ear has always a movement of its own, but the sound
we hear is always the sounding of something else, not of the
organ itself. That is why we say that we hear with what is
empty and echoes, viz. because what we hear with is a chamber
which contains a bounded mass of air.


In some cases there is no discrepancy of any sort in the names
used, but a difference of kind between the meanings is at once
obvious: e.g. in the case of ‘clear’ and ‘obscure’: for sound is
called ‘clear’ and ‘obscure’, just as ‘colour’ is too. As regards the
names, then, there is no discrepancy, but the difference in kind
between the meanings is at once obvious: for colour is not
called ‘clear’ in a like sense to sound.

Further, see in regard
to their intermediates, if some meanings and their contraries
have an intermediate, others have none, or if both have one but
not the same one, e.g. ‘clear’ and ‘obscure’ in the case of colours
have ‘grey’ as an intermediate, whereas in the case of sound
they have none, or, if they have, it is ‘harsh’, as some people say
that a harsh sound is intermediate. ‘Clear’, then, is an
ambiguous term, and likewise also ‘obscure’. See, moreover, if
some of them have more than one intermediate, while others
have but one, as is the case with ‘clear’ and ‘obscure’, for in the
case of colours there are numbers of intermediates, whereas in
regard to sound there is but one, viz. ‘harsh’.


The void is thought to be place with nothing in it. The reason
for this is that people take what exists to be body, and hold that
while every body is in place, void is place in which there is no
body, so that where there is no body, there must be void.
Every body, again, they suppose to be tangible; and of this
nature is whatever has weight or lightness.
Hence, by a syllogism, what has nothing heavy or light in it, is
This result, then, as I have said, is reached by syllogism. It
would be absurd to suppose that the point is void; for the void
must be place which has in it an interval in tangible body.
But at all events we observe then that in one way the void is
described as what is not full of body perceptible to touch; and
what has heaviness and lightness is perceptible to touch. So we
would raise the question: what would they say of an interval
that has colour or sound – is it void or not? Clearly they would
reply that if it could receive what is tangible it was void, and if
not, not.


From all this it is clear that the theory that the movement of the stars
produces a harmony, i.e. that the sounds they make are concordant,
in spite of the grace and originality with which it has been stated, is
nevertheless untrue. Some thinkers suppose that the motion of
bodies of that size must produce a noise, since on our earth the
motion of bodies far inferior in size and in speed of movement has
that effect. Also, when the sun and the moon, they say, and all the
stars, so great in number and in size, are moving with so rapid a
motion, how should they not produce a sound immensely great?
Starting from this argument and from the observation that their
speeds, as measured by their distances, are in the same ratios as
musical concordances, they assert that the sound given forth by the
circular movement of the stars is a harmony. Since, however, it
appears unaccountable that we should not hear this music, they
explain this by saying that the sound is in our ears from the very
moment of birth and is thus indistinguishable from its contrary


There is not only the absurdity of our hearing nothing, the ground of
which they try to remove, but also the fact that no effect other than
sensitive is produced upon us. Excessive noises, we know, shatter the
solid bodies even of inanimate things: the noise of thunder, for
instance, splits rocks and the strongest of bodies. But if the moving
bodies are so great, and the sound which penetrates to us is
proportionate to their size, that sound must needs reach us in an
intensity many times that of thunder, and the force of its action must
be immense. Indeed the reason why we do not hear, and show in our
bodies none of the effects of violent force, is easily given: it is that
there is no noise. But not only is the explanation evident; it is also a
corroboration of the truth of the views we have advanced. For the
very difficulty which made the Pythagoreans say that the motion of
the stars produces a concord corroborates our view.

Indeed, this must be recognized as the cause of the fire that is
generated in the earth: the air is first broken up in small
particles and then the wind is beaten about and so catches fire.
A phenomenon in these islands affords further evidence of the
fact that winds move below the surface of the earth. When a
south wind is going to blow there is a premonitory indication: a
sound is heard in the places from which the eruptions issue.
This is because the sea is being pushed on from a distance and
its advance thrusts back into the earth the wind that was
issuing from it. The reason why there is a noise and no
earthquake is that the underground spaces are so extensive in
proportion to the quantity of the air that is being driven on that
the wind slips away into the void beyond.

Subterranean noises, too, are due to the wind; sometimes they
portend earthquakes but sometimes they have been heard
without any earthquake following. Just as the air gives off
various sounds when it is struck, so it does when it strikes other
things; for striking involves being struck and so the two cases
are the same. The sound precedes the shock because sound is thinner and passes through things more readily than wind. But
when the wind is too weak by reason of thinness to cause an
earthquake the absence of a shock is due to its filtering through
readily, though by striking hard and hollow masses of different
shapes it makes various noises, so that the earth sometimes
seems to ‘bellow’ as the portentmongers say


But if any of the dry exhalation is caught in the process as the
air cools, it is squeezed out as the clouds contract, and collides
in its rapid course with the neighbouring clouds, and the sound
of this collision is what we call thunder. This collision is
analogous, to compare small with great, to the sound we hear in
a flame which men call the laughter or the threat of Hephaestus
or of Hestia. This occurs when the wood dries and cracks and
the exhalation rushes on the flame in a body. So in the clouds,
the exhalation is projected and its impact on dense clouds
causes thunder: the variety of the sound is due to the

What is capable of taking on colour is what in itself is
colourless, as what can take on sound is what is soundless;
what is colourless includes (a) what is transparent and (b) what
is invisible or scarcely visible, i.e. what is ‘dark’. The latter (b) is
the same as what is transparent, when it is potentially, not of
course when it is actually transparent; it is the same substance
which is now darkness, now light.

Sound may mean either of two things (a) actual, and (b)
potential, sound. There are certain things which, as we say,
‘have no sound’, e.g. sponges or wool, others which have, e.g.
bronze and in general all things which are smooth and solid –
the latter are said to have a sound because they can make a
sound, i.e. can generate actual sound between themselves and
the organ of hearing.
Actual sound requires for its occurrence (i, ii) two such bodies
and (iii) a space between them; for it is generated by an impact.
Hence it is impossible for one body only to generate a sound –
there must be a body impinging and a body impinged upon;
what sounds does so by striking against something else, and
this is impossible without a movement from place to place.

Actual sound requires for its occurrence (i, ii) two such bodies
and (iii) a space between them; for it is generated by an impact.
Hence it is impossible for one body only to generate a sound –
there must be a body impinging and a body impinged upon;
what sounds does so by striking against something else, and
this is impossible without a movement from place to place.

As we have said, not all bodies can by impact on one another
produce sound; impact on wool makes no sound, while the
impact on bronze or any body which is smooth and hollow
does. Bronze gives out a sound when struck because it is
smooth; bodies which are hollow owing to reflection repeat the
original impact over and over again, the body originally set in
movement being unable to escape from the concavity.
Further, we must remark that sound is heard both in air and in
water, though less distinctly in the latter. Yet neither air nor
water is the principal cause of sound. What is required for the
production of sound is an impact of two solids against one
another and against the air. The latter condition is satisfied
when the air impinged upon does not retreat before the blow,
i.e. is not dissipated by it.
That is why it must be struck with a sudden sharp blow, if it is
to sound – the movement of the whip must outrun the
dispersion of the air, just as one might get in a stroke at a heap
or whirl of sand as it was traveling rapidly past


The distinctions between different sounding bodies show
themselves only in actual sound; as without the help of light
colours remain invisible, so without the help of actual sound
the distinctions between acute and grave sounds remain
inaudible. Acute and grave are here metaphors, transferred from
their proper sphere, viz. that of touch, where they mean
respectively (a) what moves the sense much in a short time, (b)
what moves the sense little in a long time. Not that what is
sharp really moves fast, and what is grave, slowly, but that the
difference in the qualities of the one and the other movement is
due to their respective speeds. There seems to be a sort of
parallelism between what is acute or grave to hearing and what
is sharp or blunt to touch; what is sharp as it were stabs, while
what is blunt pushes, the one producing its effect in a short, the
other in a long time, so that the one is quick, the other slow.


Voice then is the impact of the inbreathed air against the
‘windpipe’, and the agent that produces the impact is the soul
resident in these parts of the body. Not every sound, as we said,
made by an animal is voice (even with the tongue we may
merely make a sound which is not voice, or without the tongue
as in coughing); what produces the impact must have soul in it
and must be accompanied by an act of imagination, for voice is
a sound with a meaning, and is not merely the result of any

Sound in Diodorus Siculus

They also recount that he carried along with his… a great number of women, and that when he joined battle in his wars he used the sounds of
drums and cymbals, since the trumpet had not yet been discovered.

double for a certain distance, but they divide the
inner portions still further, wdth the result that it
becomes a double tongue as far as its base. Consequently
they are very versatile as to the sounds they
can utter, since they imitate not only every articulate
language used by man but also the varied chatterings
of the birds, and, in general, they can reproduce
any peculiarity of sound.


There are also in the island, they say,
abundant springs of water, the warm springs serving
well for bathing and the relief of fatigue, the cold
excelling in sweetness and possessing the power to
contribute to good health. Moreover, the inhabitants
give attention to every branch of learning
and especially to astrology ; and they use letters
which, according to the value of the sounds they
represent, are twenty-eight in number, but the
characters are only seven, each one of which can be
formed in four different ways.


Consequently it comes to pass that when
the Ethiopians come out of the marshy lands they
are eaten by these beasts ; for they are unable to
\vithstand the might of the lions, since they have no
help in the form of weapons, and indeed in the end
the race of them would have been utterly destroyed
had not Nature provided them with an aid which
acts entirely of itself. For at the time of the rising
of the dog-star,^ whenever a calm unexpectedly
comes on, there swarms to these regions such a
multitude of mosquitoes, surpassing in vigour those
that are knowTi to us, that while the human beings
find refuge in the marshy pools and suffer no hurt,
all the lions flee from those regions, since they not
only suffer from their stings but are at the same time
terrified by the sound of their humming.


The animals which bear the name cynocephali ‘ are
in body like misshapen men, and they make a sound
like the whimpering of human beings. These
animals are very wild and quite untamable, and
their eyebrows give them a rather surly expression.
A most peculiar characteristic of the female is that it
carries the womb on the outside of its body during
its entire existence.


three islands which lie off the coast
just described and provide numerous harbours. The
first of these, history relates, is sacred to Isis and is
uninhabited, and on it are stone foundations of ancient
dwellings and stelae which are inscribed with letters
in a barbarian tongue ; the other two islands are likewise
uninhabited and all three are covered thick with
olive trees which differ from those we have. Beyond
these islands there extends for about a thousand
stades a coast which is precipitous and difficult for
ships to sail past ; for there is neither harbour
beneath the cliffs nor roadstead where sailors may
anchor, and no natural breakwater which affords
shelter in emergency for mariners in distress. And
parallel to the coast here runs a mountain range at
whose summit are rocks which are sheer and of a
terrifying height, and at its base are sharp undersea
ledges in many places and behind them are ravines
which are eaten away underneath and turn this way.

And since these ravines are connected
by passages with one another and the sea is deep, the
surf, as it at one time rushes in and at another time
retreats, gives forth a sound resembhng a mighty
crash of thunder. At one place the surf, as it breaks
upon huge rocks, leaps on high and causes an astonishing
mass of foam, at another it is swallowed up wdthin
the caverns and creates such a terrifying agitation of
the waters that men who unwittingly draw near
these places are so frightened that they die, as it
were, a first death.

The man who associated ^v^th her and loved her
more than anyone else, they say, was Marsyas the
Phrygian, who was admired for his intelligence and
chastity ; and a proof of his intelligence they find in
the fact that he imitated the sounds made by the
pipe of many reeds and carried all its notes over into
the flute,^ and as an indication of his chastity they
cite his abstinence from sexual pleasures until the
day of his death.

the hearers decided that Apollo presented the more
just argument, their skills were again compared;
Marsyas was defeated, and Apollo, who had become
somewhat embittered by the quarrel, flayed the
defeated man alive. But quickly repenting and being
distressed at what he had done, he broke the strings of
the lyre and destroyed the harmony of sounds which
he had discovered. This harmony of the strings , however,
was rediscovered, when the Muses added later
the middle string, Linus the string struck with the
forefinger, and Orpheus and Thamyras the lowest


This city lies on a certain island
which is surrounded by the river Triton and is precipitous
on all sides save at one place where there is
a narrow pass which bears the name ” Nysaean
Gates.” The land of the island is rich, is ti-aversed
at intervals by pleasant meadows and watered by
abundant streams from springs, and possesses every
kind of fruit-bearing tree and the wild vine in
abundance, which for the most part grows up trees.
The whole region, moreover, has a fresh and pure
air and is furthermore exceedingly healthful ; and
for this reason its inhabitants are the longest lived
of any in those parts. The entrance into the island
is like a glen at its beginning, being thickly shaded
by lofty trees growing close together, so that the
sun never shines at all through the close-set branches
but only the radiance of its light may be seen.
69. Everywhere along the lanes, the account con-

tinues, springs of water gush forth of exceeding
sweetness, making the place most pleasant to those
who desire to tarry there. Further in there is a
cave, circular in shape and of marvellous size and
beauty. For above and all about it rises a crag of
immense height, formed of rocks of different coloui’s ;
for the rocks lie in bands and send forth a bright
gleam, some like that purple which comes from the
sea,^ some bluish and others like every other kind of
brilliant hue, the result being that there is not a
colour to be seen among men which is not visible in
that place. Before the entrance grow marvellous
trees, some fruit-bearing, others evergreen, and all of
them fashioned by nature for no other end than to
delight the eye ; and in them nest every kind of
bird of pleasing colour and most charming song.
Consequently the whole place is meet for a god, not
merely in its aspect but in its sound as well, since
the sweet tones which nature teaches are always
superior to the song which is devised by art. When
one has passed the entrance the cave is seen to widen
out and to be lighted all about by the rays of the
sun, and all kinds of flowering plants grow there,
especially the cassia and every other kind which has
the power to preserve its fragrance throughout the
year ; and in it are also to be seen several couches
of nymphs, formed of every manner of flower, made
not by hand but by the hght touch of Nature herself,
in manner meet for a god. Moreover, throughout
the whole place round about not a flower or leaf is
to be seen which has fallen. Consequently those
who gaze upon this spot find not only its aspect
delightful but also its fragrance most pleasant.

Apollo played upon the lyre without
accompanying it with his voice, while Mai-syas,
striking up upon his pipes, amazed the ears of his
hearers by their strange music and in their opinion
far excelled, by reason of his melody, the first

Cleio is so named because the pi-aise
which poets sing in their encomia bestows great
glory (kleos) upon those who are praised ; Euterpe,
because she gives to those who hear her sing delight
(terpein) in the blessings which education bestows
Thaleia, because men whose praises have been sung
in poems flourish (thallein) through long periods of
time ; Melpomene, from the chanting (inelodid) by
which she charms the souls of her listeners ; Terpsichore,
because she delights (terpein) her disciples
with the good things which come from education

Sound in Sophocles

Good bye, my chambered home that kept me safe, and neighbouring Nymphs of field and stream, good bye, deep sounding roar of sea swept cape – 1455 here often indeed my head was battered, soaked and wet within my home by spume and flying foam, and often too the mount, Hermaeon, returned antiphonal my cries of echoing agony and pain, tempestuous grief. 1460 Now, though, you springs and water source Apolline, I am leaving, leaving you behind,

Keep silence, son.
Ne. What is it?
Ch. I hear a noise
str. as of a man who shares his life with caustic pain – somewhere over there, or there. It strikes, yes, strikes my ear the sound 205 authentic of a man who creeps in inevitable pain upon his way, nor can I fail to know the grievous sound far off of bitter human torment. Its tone is obvious.


This man is not far off, but close at hand, 211 no piping melody is his as of a shepherd in wild fields, but he cries out loud far off and stumbles in his dire necessity, 215 or when he sees the harbour innocent of ships, and his cry is loud and terrible to hear.


It is a miracle, I think, how he this man, how he, deserted and sole witness to the surge and chop of the surrounding, sounding sea held on so long to this life of tears.


This man second to none it may be
ant. of the houses hallowed by time, 181 has no share in life’s joys, lies abandoned, apart from mankind, his company the wild and dappled beasts, piteous both in his cries and his famine, 185 he gives tongue to the torment he feels, insupportable pains, with Echo, babbling, heard from afar, the only one to heed his bitter grief.

Sound in Plutarch

Agamemnon,a for example,
used nine heralds and, even so, had difficulty in
keeping the assembly in order because of the vast
numbers ; but here in Delphi, a few days hence, in
the theatre you will see that one voice reaches all.
In the same way, in those days, prophecy employed
more voices to speak to more people, but to-day,
quite the reverse, we should needs be surprised at the
god if he allowed his prophecies to run to waste, like
water, or to echo like the rocks with the voices of
shepherds and flocks in waste places.”


As a matter of fact, these statements of Phylarchus
are absurd, but even more absurd are those put forth
by those who say that Serapis is no god at all, but
the name of the coffin of Apis ; and that there are
in Memphis certain bronze gates called the Gates of
Oblivion and Lamentation, which are opened when
the burial of Apis takes place, and they give out a
deep and harsh sound ; and it is because of this that
we lay hand upon anything of bronze that gives out
a sound.

For the same reason many of the Greeks
make statues of Dionysus in the form of a bull and
the women of Elis invoke him, praying that the god
may come with the hoof of a bull d
; and the epithet applied to Dionysus among the Argives is ” Son of the
Bull.” They call him up out of the water by the sound
of trumpets, at the same time casting into the depths
a lamb as an offering to the Keeper of the Gate. The
trumpets they conceal in Bacchic wands, as Socrates f
lias stated in his treatise on The Holy Ones.


And it is evident that Sophocles a assigns each of the
instruments to each god in these words :
No harp, no lyre is welcome for laments.
” As a matter of fact it was only after a long lapse of
time and only recently that the flute ventured to utter
a sound ‘ over things of delight/ but during all the early
time it used to be fetched in for times of mourning,
and it had the task of rendering service on these
occasions, not a very honourable or cheerful one.

libations poured over the victims and the refusal to
give responses unless the whole victim from the hoofjoints
up is seized with a trembling and quivering, as
the libation is poured over it ? Shaking the head is
not enough, as in other sacrifices, but the tossing and
quivering must extend to all parts of the animal alike
accompanied by a tremulous sound ; and unless this
takes place they say that the oracle is not functioning,
and do not even bring in the prophetic priestess.

Examples of Hearing in Tacitus’ Annals

It was a restless night for different reasons, the barbarians in their festivity filling the valleys under the hills and the echoing glens with merry song or savage shouts,

The barbarians meanwhile rushed down with their bands, now hurling at the entrenchments stones such as the hand could grasp, stakes with points hardened by fire, and boughs lopped from oaks; now filling up the fosses with bushes and hurdles and dead bodies, while others advanced up to the breastwork with bridges and ladders which they had constructed for the occasion, seized it, tore it down, and came to close quarters with the defenders. Our soldiers on the other side drove them back with missiles, repelled them with their shields, and covered them with a storm of long siege-javelins and heaps of stones. Success already gained and the more marked disgrace which would follow repulse, were a stimulus to the Romans, while the courage of the foe was heightened by this last chance of deliverance and the presence of many mothers and wives with mournful cries. Darkness, which increased the daring of some and the terror of others, random blows, wounds not foreseen, failure to recognise friend or enemy, echoes, seemingly in their rear, from the winding mountain valleys, spread such confusion that the Romans abandoned some of their lines in the belief that they had been stormed. Only however a very few of the enemy had broken through them; the rest, after their bravest men had been beaten back or wounded, were towards daybreak pushed back to the upper part of the fortress and there at last compelled to surrender. Then the immediate neighbourhood, by the voluntary action of the inhabitants, submitted. The early and severe winter of Mount Haemus saved the rest of the population from being reduced by assault or blockade.

There was as much restlessness in the German host with its hopes, its eager longings, and the conflicting opinions of its chiefs. Arminius advised that they should allow the Romans to quit their position, and, when they had quitted it, again surprise them in swampy and intricate ground. Inguiomerus, with fiercer counsels, heartily welcome to barbarians, was for beleaguering the entrenchment in armed array, as to storm them would, he said, be easy, and there would be more prisoners and the booty unspoilt. So at daybreak they trampled in the fosses, flung hurdles into them, seized the upper part of the breastwork, where the troops were thinly distributed and seemingly paralysed by fear. When they were fairly within the fortifications, the signal was given to the cohorts, and the horns and trumpets sounded. Instantly, with a shout and sudden rush, our men threw themselves on the German rear, with taunts, that here were no woods or swamps, but that they were on equal ground, with equal chances. The sound of trumpets, the gleam of arms, which were so unexpected, burst with all the greater effect on the enemy, thinking only, as they were, of the easy destruction of a few half-armed men, and they were struck down, as unprepared for a reverse as they had been elated by success. Arminius and Inguiomerus fled from the battle, the first unhurt, the other severely wounded. Their followers were slaughtered, as long as our fury and the light of day lasted. It was not till night that the legions returned, and though more wounds and the same want of provisions distressed them, yet they found strength, healing, sustenance, everything indeed, in their victory.

But Germanicus also bestowed attention on other wonders. Chief of these were the stone image of Memnon, which, when struck by the sun’s rays, gives out the sound of a human voice; the pyramids, rising up like mountains amid almost impassable wastes of shifting sand, raised by the emulation and vast wealth of kings; the lake hollowed out of the earth to be a receptacle for the Nile’s overflow; and elsewhere the river’s narrow channel and profound depth which no line of the explorer can penetrate. He then came to Elephantine and Syene, formerly the limits of the Roman empire, which now extends to the Red Sea.