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

Muse Calliope | Greco-Roman marble statue C2nd A.D. | State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg
Muse Calliope, Greco-Roman marble statue, c. 2nd AD, State Hermitage Museum.

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.

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

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.