Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Greece

Muses, Goddesses of Art and Science

Muses, the goddesses of Art and Science

The Muses were nine very intelligent, beautiful, careless divinities. Each Muse was responsible for a different literary or poetic genre. They were created by Zeus, the King of the Gods, who secretly laid 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 make the world disremember the evil and relieve the sorrows and to praise the gods, and especially the Olympian Gods' victory over their ancestors, the Titans.

Mount Helicon, the Home of the Muses

Home of the Muses was Mount Helicon in Central Greece, where the Muses had sanctuaries and a dancing area near the top.

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

Hwever, the most significant sanctuary of the Muses was in Pieria, close toMount 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 god of the Sun, was the main teacher and leader of the Muses. For this reason, Apollo was often referred to as "Apollo Musagetes" (Apollo, leader of the Muses).
Usually, the Muses were accompanying Apollo and the Graces on their strolls and loved singing and dancing on soft feet on laurel leaves, while Apollo was playing the lyre.

Interesting Facts about the Muses

-It were the Muses who unveiled 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, as their mother-however, their mission was to make people actually forget their sorrows and don't think about their cares.


Picture Gallery

Muses photo gallery

Famous Muses in Greek Mythology