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Last Update: 20 Mar 2021

Muses

Muses, Goddesses of Art and Science



The Muses were nine goddesses who presided over the Arts and the Sciences




The Muses were very intelligent, beautiful, carefree deities. Each Muse was responsible for a different literary or poetic genre. They were created by Zeus, the king of the gods, who secretly slept for nine nights with Mnemosyne, the Titaness of memory.

The names of the nine Muses were Calliope (Epic Poetry), Erato (love poetry), Euterpe (music), Melpomene (Tragedy), Polyhymnia/Polymnia (sacred hymns) , Terpsichore (Dance), Thalia (Comedy) and Urania (Astronomy).




The Role of the Muses

The Muses were brought to life to distract the world from evil, to alleviate sorrows, and to praise the gods, especially the victory of the Olympian Gods' over their ancestors, the Titans.




Mount Helicon, the Home of the Muses

The seat of the Muses was Mount Helicon in Central Greece, where the Muses had sanctuaries and a dancing place near the top.

It was this mountain that inspired the legendary Greek poet Hesiod to sing of the beginning of the gods. In addition, Mount Helicon was sacred to Apollo, the Greek god of music, light and the sun, and is also the source where Narcissus was inspired by his own beauty.

However, the most important sanctuary of the Muses was at Pieria, near Mount Olympus. For this reason they were often called Pierides.




Apollo and the Muses

Detail of the painting 'Apollo and the Muses'(1826) by Heinrich Maria von HessApollo, the Greek sun god, was the chief teacher and leader of the Muses. For this reason Apollo was often called "Apollo Musagetes" (Apollo, leader of the Muses).

Usually the Muses accompanied Apollo and the Graces on their walks and loved to sing and dance on soft feet on laurel leaves while Apollo played the lyre.




Interesting Facts about the Muses

-It was the Muses who revealed to the Greek shepherd Hesiod the origins and genealogies of the ancient Greek gods, and then blessed and inspired him to write his famous epic poem, the Theogony.

- The Muses may have had Mnemosyne, the goddess of memory, for a mother, but her job was to get people to actually forget their worries and not think about their worries.




Famous Muses in Greek Mythology
Greek Mythology-Calliope

Calliope

Epic Poetry
Greek Mythology-Clio

Clio

History
Greek Mythology-Erato

Erato

Love Poetry
Greek Mythology-Euterpe

Euterpe

Music
Greek Mythology-Melpomene

Melpomene

Tragedy
Greek Mythology-Polyhymnia

Polyhymnia

Hymns
Greek Mythology-Terpsichore

Terpsichore

Dance
Greek Mythology-Thalia

Thalia

Comedy
Greek Mythology-Urania

Urania

Astronomy



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