Linus was a musician, the son either of Apollo and Psamathe, or of Amphimarus and Urania. The popular derivation of the name is from ailinos, 'mournful dirge' (said to originate from ai Linon, 'alas for Linus' or ai lanu, 'alas for us'). But linon is 'linen' and there could well be a connection with linen or flax, especially since Psamathe's name means 'sand'. In fact Pliny says that Linus was the result of the flax plant being sown in sandy soil!