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, “Muse” is simply a synonym for the word “inspiration”. To the Ancient Greeks, however, it was more than that. In Greek mythology, the 9 Muses were the goddesses of the arts, sciences, and literature. 

The Origin Of The Muses

The 9 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 of the 9 Muses 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.

1. Calliope was the Muse of epic poetry. She is usually depicted holding a writing tablet
2. Clio was the Muse of history. She is always associated with holding a scroll, or a book
3. Eurerpe was the Muse of music. Usually she is depicted playing an aulos (double flute)
4. Thalia was the Muse of comedy. She is usually portrayed holding a comic mask in her hand
5. Melopomene was the Muse of tragedy. She is usually depicted holding a tragic mask
6. Terpsichore was the Muse of dance. Usually she is depicted holding a lyre
7. Erato was the Muse of love poetry. She is usually depicted wearing a wreath and holding a kithara (lyre)
8. Polyhumnia was the muse of sacred poetry. She is usually depicted wearling a long cloak
9. Urania was the Muse of astonomy. Most of the times she is depicted holding a celestial globe

To read more, please visit: Greek Boston