Monday, October 19, 2009

The Nine Muses

Mnemosyne. Dante Gabrielle Rossetti

After some time out of mind i have decided to get back on the ol horse, it's no longer strictly for that video art project, not that it ever really was...

Lately i have been looking into Greek Mythology. It really is a limitless source of inspiration. One of my favourite myths is that of THE NINE MUSES. To quote somewhere:

At one time, the goddesses of inspiring springs, the nine Muses became the representatives of poetry, the arts and science : Calliope, Muse of epic song, Clio, Muse of history, Euterpe, Muse of lyric song, Thalia, Muse of comedy and bucolic
poetry, Melpomene, Muse of tragedy, Terpsichore, Muse of dance, Erato, Muse of erotic poetry, Polyhymnia, Muse of sacred song, and Urania, Muse of astronomy.

Now as the rumours go, Zeus slept with the Goddess (or Titan) of memory Mnemosyne nine nights in a row, and by doing so spawned each muse - which is really a stellar effort by both parties, though you especially have to feel for Mnemosyne the poor girl. A lot of myths revolve around both Mnemosyne and the Muses and there has been a lot of great art and poetry based upon them.

The Dance of Apollo and the Muses
- Baldassare Peruzzi

From Hesiod - Theogony:

From the Heliconian Muses let us begin to sing

who hold the great and holy mount of Helicon, and

dance on soft feet about the deep-blue spring and

the altar of the almighty son of Cronos,

and, when they have washed their tender bodies in

Permessus, or in the Horse’s Spring of Olmeius, make
their fair, lovely dances upon highest Helicon and
move with vigorous feet.

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