Friday, 16 September 2011 16:42

Sappho: The Tenth Muse

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Dear Sappho,

Plato referred to Sappho as the "tenth Muse" in Greek mythology. The Muses are nine goddesses who embody the evocation of myth, inspiration, music, poetry, art and dances. Who are the other Nine Muses?

Dear One

The Muses were Greek goddesses of arts and sciences. They inspired all artists, especially poets, philosophers, and musicians. They were the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, the goddess of memory. The Muses sat near the throne of Zeus and sang of the origin of the world and the glorious deeds of great heroes. From their name words such as music, museum, mosaic are derived. Plato did call Sappho the tenth Muse. Those who know Sappho and who are inspired by her know why....

The other 9 muses are:

1. Calliope (Beautiful Voice) epic poetry. (Mother of Orpheus)

2. Clio (kleos(glory) / kleiein (to celebrate) / Celebration/Fame) – history.

3. Erato (eros (love) Lovely One) love poetry.

4. Euterpe (Delight) music.

5. Melpomene (melpein (to sing) the Singing goddess) tragedy.

6. Polyhymnia (poly (many) hymnos (hymn) or mnasthai (to remember) sacred poetry. (considered also as inventor of the lyre)

7. Terpsichore (Delight of dancing/choruses) dance.

8. Thalia (thallein (to bloom), Festivity) comedy.

9. Urania (ouranos (sky) Heavenly One) astronomy.

The number of Muses varies over time; first there was one, then three, then nine, and now ten.

But can there ever be too many muses?