Nine Muses of Greek Mythology


Contemporary artists often mention of their muses and dedicate their masterpiece creations to them. This concept of a muse inspiring the artistic works, roots down to the ancient Greek mythology. In the mythology of Greece, there are nine muses rather goddesses. It is believed that without them on your sides, your creations do not get the desired mould. They guide or inspire you through all your creative ventures. The institutes where music or art is being taught, there is always an altar in the honour of these nine muses. Also, the word museum refers to the temple of muses. They are honoured as the good luck charm in the learning institutes and by the artists.

Origin of the nine muses

In Greek mythology, Zeus was believed to be the God and ruler of the sky. Married to goddess Hera, they resided on the mountains of Olympus. Due to his disloyalties to his wife, Zeus was once in love with the beautiful goddess of memory, Mnemosyne. He had approached goddess Mnemosyne in the disguise of a simple shepherd, and it is said that their love-struck affair went on for ‘nine nights of glory.’ They had nine beautiful daughters, who later came to be honoured as these nine muses. On the amulets, the pictures or the engraved stone slabs with these nine muses, it is often spotted that Apollo, the God of poetry, the Oracle, healing, and music, is leading these nine muses.

Magic of the nine muses

Calliope: Wearing a beautiful tiara, Calliope was the first muse born to Mnemosyne. She is honoured as the one for epic poetry. Her name stands for a beautiful voice, and often, she is accompanied by one writing tablet and a trumpet.

Clio: The name Clio is meant to make famous. She was the second daughter born to the Goddess Mnemosyne. Clio is draped in a laurel wreath and is spotted carrying a book or a scroll. She is honoured as the muse for history and is known to be the first one to present the alphabets.

Euterpe: Third among the nine muses, Euterpe is honoured as the muse of melancholic poetry, songs, and music. Aulos or the double flute is always seen to be carried by this muse, whose name lives up to the meaning of delight.

Erato: Wearing a myrtle and roses wreath, Erato is honoured as the muse of love, erotic songs, and poetry, the one for lyric poetry. Accompanied with a lyre in her hands, she endows one with the desired living up to her name.

Melpomene: Her name is to symbolize a singer, and she is honoured as the muse for tragedy. The cypress wreath, the sad mask, the dagger and her sword make up for a depiction of sorrow and tragedy.

Polyhymnia: She is honoured as the solemn and beautiful muse; her name symbolizing one of the many hymns. She is one honoured for geometry, sacred hymns and agriculture. At times, people epitomize her as the muse of meditation.  

Terpsichore: Her name stands for the ‘one who delights, is dancing.’ On the contrary, she is often picturised in a beautiful wreath of laurel, sitting with one lyre. Many consider her to be resting after a dance.

Thalia: Thalia is the popular muse of comedy. Carrying a comic mask and a trumpet of a shepherd, she is draped in an ivy white wreath. She is symbolized as the epitome of joy.

Urania: Wearing a beautiful star crown, she symbolizes the mystical path of life. Her name stands for ‘the heavenly,’ and she is loved as the one muse for astronomy.

These nine muses are the essential good luck charm of any author, painter, poet, musician, astronomer, artist, historian or politician. Hence found at the institutes or the artists’ as inspiration.