Melpomene was one of the nine Muses, the goddesses of music, song and dance.

Residence: Mount Olympus
Symbol: Tragic mask, sword, wreath of ivy and cothurnus boots
Parents: Zeus and Mnemosyne
Siblings: The Muses

Roman statue of Melpomene, 2nd c. AD. (c) Wolfgang Sauber

In the Classical era, when the Muses were assigned specific artistic and literary spheres, Melpomene was named Muse of tragedy. In this guise she was portrayed holding a tragic mask or sword, and sometimes wearing a wreath of ivy and cothurnus boots. Her name was derived from the Greek verb melpô or melpomai meaning “to celebrate with dance and song.”

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