The lyre is a musical instrument from the string family that dates back to the Ancient Greek world. In Greek mythology the lyre, chelys, phorminx, and kithara (all string instruments) were created by Hermes. Hermes made the lyre from a tortoise shell, and used it to steel cattle from Apollo. Hermes gave Apollo the lyre when the theft was discovered. In Ancient Greece the lyre was either played as a solo instrument or along with poetry or singing. It was played at most important events in Greece and is depicted in much of the early art dating back as far as 2000 BC to the Middle Bronze Age, but the lyre existed for at least 1000 years prior to this.