The Muses Of Greek Mythology

  • by XpatAthens
  • Thursday, 11 February 2016
The Muses Of Greek Mythology
According to Greek Mythology, artists have a Muse who whispers inspiration into their ears. Without the Muse, the artist wouldn’t be able to create. The Muse is said to help writers, musicians, painters, sculptors, and other creative people. Without the Muse, inspiration wouldn’t exist.
Today, we think of the “Muse” as simply a synonym for “inspiration”. To the Ancient Greeks, however, it was much more than that. The Muses were the goddesses of inspiration for the arts, sciences, and literature. There is some debate how many muses there really were.

Origin of the Muses
The Muses were the daughters of Zeus, the King of the Gods, and Mnemosyne, the Titan goddess of memory. Zeus tricked Mnemosyne by disguising himself as a shepherd. In one version, they lay together for nine nights. Each night, a different Muse was conceived. In some versions, there were only three Muses.
In this instance, Mnemosyne and Zeus were together only three nights. According to the poetry of Sappho, there was a tenth Muse. Historians argue as to why there was such a variation in the number of Muses.

Who they were
Each Muse represented different aspects of intellect, thought, and creativity. They were also associated with a certain tool. Here is an overview of who they were and what they represented, according to Hesiod.

Calliope: The Muse who represented epic poetry.  Her implement was the writing tablet
Clio: The  Muse who had to do with history and she was always associated with holding a scroll
Eurerpe: The Muse of lyrical poetry and music, and is always shown with an aulos (flute)
Thalia: The Muse representative of both comedy and pastoral poetry and was associated with the comic mask
Melopomene: The Muse of Tragedy and her item was that of the tragic mask
Terpsichora: The Muse of dance and always associated with the lyre
Erato: The Muse associated with Love Poetry.  Her lyre was called the cithara
Polyhumnia: The Muse who represented sacred poetry and was always depicted with a veil
Urania: The Muse of Astonomy and held a globe and compass

To read more, please visit: Greek Boston