The Muses were the goddesses of music, song and dance, and the source of inspiration to poets. They were also goddesses of knowledge, who remembered all things that had come to pass.

Residence: Mount Olympus
Symbol: Lyre, cithara, flute and swan
Parents: Zeus and Mnemosyne

The nine Muses on a Roman sarcophagus. 2nd c. AD, Louvre.

Later the Muses were assigned specific artistic spheres: Calliope, epic poetry; Clio, history; Urania, astronomy; Thalia, comedy; Melpomene, tragedy; Polyhymnia, religious hymns; Erato, erotic poetry; Euterpe, lyric poetry; and Terpsichore, choral song and dance.

Roman Mosaic of the Muses. Vichten Roman Villa, 2nd-3rd c. AD. Luxembourg City History Museum.
Hellenistic marble relief of Homer as a god with the Muses seen at the bottom, c. 225-205 BC, from Bovillae. British Museum.

Back to The Other Olympian Gods