Calliope was the eldest of the Muses, the goddesses of music, song and dance. She was also the goddess of eloquence, who bestowed her gift on kings and princes.

Residence: Mount Olympus
Symbol: Lyre, tablet and stylus
Parents:  Zeus and Mnemosyne
Siblings: The Muses
Consort: Apollo
Children: Orpheus and Linus

Detail of painting The Muses Urania and Calliope by Simon Vouet, in which she holds a copy of the Odyssey.

In the Classical era, when the Muses were assigned specific artistic spheres, Calliope was named Muse of epic poetry. In this guise she was portrayed holding a tablet and stylus or a scroll. In older art she holds a lyre.

Calliope was the mother of the bard Orpheus. When her son was dismembered by the Bacchantes, she recovered his head and enshrined on the island of Lesbos.

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