A stringed musical instrument with curved arms (imitating goats' horns) and a tortoise-shell sound box. Used to accompany songs and lyric poetry. A variant type - barbiton - derives from Anatolia and has longer, straight arms, to accompany the lower register of many male voices.
Above left: Calymna coin Rev. c. 520 BC. London, British Museum © Kraay and Hirmer pl.127,390
Above right: The poets Sappho and Alcaeus with lyres. Detail from Athenian red-figure clay vase, about 480 BC. Munich Antikensammlungen J753. © Munich Antikensammlungen