The Muses in Greek mythology are associated with various arts and sciences. They have inspired many art forms, and many artists have sought their blessings. This Buzzle article is a compilation of some very interesting facts about the Muses.
Did You Know?
The word museum comes from the Greek muses. It comes from the word Mouseion which describes the temple of the Greek Muse.
Muse or Mousai in Greek mythology are beautiful deities who inspired various arts and sciences. They were the inspiration for knowledge. It is believed that these muses were invoked by artists to seeks blessings in their endeavors.
There is a lot of inconsistency on the number of muses. But the most common belief is that there were nine muses. Every muse is associated with a different art and has an element as well.
These nine muses are daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne. According to some sources, Zeus spent nine nights in a row with Mnemosyne, thus the nine daughters were born. They were gifted with memory as their mother Mnemosyne was a Titaness, who was memory personified.
Province: Muse of Epic Song
Symbol: Wax Tablet
❖ She was the protector of heroic poems and rhetoric art. She was the most important muse, and used to accompany kings and queens in order to impose justice and equality.
❖ Calliope had many famous sons like Orpheus and Linus with Apollo, Mygdon, Edonus, Biston and Odomas with Ares and married Oeagrus.
❖ She is said to be the wisest of the muses.
Province: Muse of history
❖ Clio (also spelled as Kleio) is credited with the invention of history and guitar.
❖ She is always depicted with a clarion in one hand and a book in another.
❖ She had only one son, Hyacinth with a king.
Province: Muse of lyric song
Symbol: Double flute
❖ She invented many musical instruments and dialects.
❖ She was always seen with a flute and other instruments.
❖ She was also considered as the muse of lyric poetry.
Province: Muse of tragedy
Symbol: Tragic mask
❖ She always carried a tragic mask, and invented tragedy and rhetoric speech.
❖ Earlier, she was also considered as the muse of singing.
❖ Many Greek and Roman poets used to invoke her before writing.
Province: Muse of dance
❖ Her name means delight in dancing in Greek.
❖ This goddess of dance is usually depicted sitting down with a lyre.
❖ She invented dance, harp, and education.
Province: Muse of erotic poetry
Symbol: Smaller lyre
❖ She always carried love arrows and bows. She was a protector of love and weddings.
❖ She was a muse of love and erotic poetry.
❖ Even her name means desired and lovely in Greek.
Province: Muse of sacred song
Symbol: Depicted veiled and pensive
❖ She was a protector of divine art and hymns. She invented geometry and grammar.
❖ She was also a muse of eloquence, dance, agriculture, as well as pantomime.
❖ She is often depicted as a very serious goddess, with a finger on her mouth.
Province: Muse of astronomy
Symbol: Celestial globe
❖ The eldest of the nine muses, Urania was the great granddaughter of Uranus.
❖ She was the protector of celestial objects. She invented astronomy.
❖ She is said to have two sons; Linus with Apollo and Hymenaeus.
Province: Muse of comedy and bucolic poetry
Symbol: Comic mask
❖ She discovered comedy, geometry, and architectural science.
❖ According to some sources, she had a son, Corybantes, with Apollo.
❖ Many of her statues depict her with a bugle, trumpet, shepherd’s staff, or wreath of ivy.
Other Interesting Facts
❖ Homer sometimes referred to the muses as a single muse as well as multiple muses.
❖ Many Greek paintings and artworks have been inspired by the muses.
❖ Poet Hesiod referred to the nine muses, and used to invoke them when writing.
❖ According to Plato, there were eight muses, associated with eight mystical spheres.
❖ Pausanias, a Greek traveler used to believe that there were three muses, who were worshiped at Mount Helicon. They were Aoidē, Meletē, and Mnēmē.
❖ Nētē, Mesē, and Hypatē are the three muses worshiped in the Delphi.
❖ They were also given the names of Apollo’s daughters – Cēphisso, Apollonis, and Borysthenis.
❖ Later, four other muses were recognized. They were considered to be the daughters of Zeus and Plusia or of Uranus. Their names were, Thelxinoë, Aoedē, Arche, and Meletē.
❖ According to Greek Mythology, four muses invented the four dialects of language. Seven muses invented the seven chords of the lyre, seven planets, and seven vocals of the Greek alphabet, whereas three muses invented the vibrations of the lyre. Also, five muses invented the five human senses.