Nine Thinks – Gods of Art and Science

Nine Thinks – Gods of Art and Science

The Nine Muses (Μοῦσαι) are known from Greco-Roman mythology. The immortal nymphs symbolize the various classical arts. In this capacity they inspired artists and scientists. The word “museum” refers to muses. Originally this word comes from Mouse (Seat thinks).

Moses, possibly Cleo, on an oil jug from about 430 BC.

The Muses were the daughters of Zeus and sisters of Apollo. According to the Greek philologist Apollodorus of Athens, the titanide of Mnemosin, the personification of memory, was their mother. During festivals of the Olympic gods, kings were often present to sing, dance, or recite poetry. At first there were only three Muses: Melete (meditation), Mneme (memory) and Aoede (songs). Later, the Nine Muses were usually spoken of, namely:

  • Erato (Inspirational hymn, song and lyric)
  • Euterpe (flute playing)
  • Calliope (Inspirational heroic epic, philosophy and rhetoric)
  • Cleo / Cleo (inspirational history)
  • Melbumine (Muse of Tragedy)
  • Multiple panels (Musa Eloquence and Sacred Songs)
  • Terpsicor (Inspirational dance and lyric poetry)
  • next (comedy muse)
  • urania (Musa Astronomy)

Hesiod in de Meuse - Gustave Moreau 1891
Hesiod in de Meuse – Gustave Moreau 1891

The gods sometimes had jealous burps, and one day they quarreled with the so-called sirens, demigods with a flying body and a woman’s head, who tried to seduce their listeners with their voices. The gods considered these nymphs as rivals, and one day they took them into a singing competition. After the gods were victorious, the nymphs’ feathers were pulled out as punishment, causing them to drown in the sea and drown. All this happened near the city of Aptera, which means “without wings.”


According to some accounts, the Musa family lived on Mount Helicon in Boeotia, along with the horse Pegasus. It is said that there was a source on the mountain that was run by the Muses and considered to be an inspiration for art and science. Little is known about the cult of the Muses. It is said that a festival in their honor takes place every four years in the ancient Greek city of Thespiae, not far from Helicon. Muses are initially only supposed to be the patron goddess of poets and later became associated with more arts and sciences.

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In most stories, the Muses deities are unmarried. However, there are also poets who reported that nymphs gave birth to some famous characters in Greek mythology. For example, Orpheus will be the daughter of Kalliope.

In Roman mythology, the Muses were later identified with the Camenae.

Also interesting: The 50 best Greek words in Dutch
more Greek mythology
a general look at Books on Mythology (Greek)


– The Great Encyclopedia of Mythology – Arthur Cottrell or (Feltman) – pp. 64-65
– Legends – C. Scott Littleton | s. 147157

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