History of the Muse
Ancient Greek Goddesses of Inspiration
|By A.O. Kime
~ America's finest metaphysician and philosopher ~ and author of:
According to ancient Greek mythology there are nine muse, goddesses who inspire artists, musicians, writers and poets and that these immortal beings are the daughters of Mnemosyne who were fathered by Zeus. Mnemosyne is also an immortal and the titan daughter of Uranus, another god of the highest order. For over 2,500 years and throughout western civilization, it is largely acknowledged by artists of every sort that most of their inspirations, creativity and incredible talent come from these muse. Because this is so mysterious, that which science can't explain to anyone's satisfaction, and for a lack of a better explanation; this mythological explanation remains the most popular reason. In this day and age of scientific thought, one would think this would be a preposterous concept for intelligent people to believe yet it remains the case. This shouldn't be surprising though, there isn't much about the subconscious that science can explain and nothing at all about the spirit world.
Well then, is it possible the muse could actually be real? It is strange that while most artists will acknowledge the muse, they won't go so far as to discuss them. It is a transcendental matter which few people are willing to talk about but nonetheless the muse are considered effectively real. For the record you should know the names of these nine 'mythical' goddesses. In alphabetical order they are Calliope, Clio, Erato, Euterpe, Melpomene, Polymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia and Urania. For many they are the most beautiful women God ever created, truly 'angels' to those who hear them. People often refer to these goddesses as simply 'the muse' rather than the plural 'muses' even though according to Greek mythology there are nine. Either way, since antiquity and in the opinion of most artists, the muse of Greek mythology are the source of their inspiration and artistic genius and therefore, in effect, represent this incredible phenomenon.
There were several classical Greek and Roman writers who tried to attribute which areas each muse influenced, whether it was poetry or music for example, but that depended on what each writer believed. The Greeks had different versions and so did the Romans and many of these evolved over time. In other words, there are dozens of versions so which does one pick? No matter how credible any particular writer was considered at the time, I still cannot put any faith in what they believed as to which muse did what. I suppose I could make this a more colorful presentation if I included their beliefs but to do so would make the phenomenon less believable. That's because oftentimes when one gets too specific about the spirit world then believability wanes. For example, almost everyone believes in an Almighty God but preferably without elaboration. Now, if someone said God has a mustache, well, that's contentious. That's the reason why I'm not going to relate such in-depth elaboration.
Indeed, Greek mythology is very colorful with many exciting tales about what the various gods did, often battling each other or punishing man when they were bored. According to Greek mythology there were also immortal 'titans' and other powerful men creating havoc. It seems all the gods had dual personalities, were moody and had very bad tempers. Then there was the powerful Achilles and of course Hector and Hercules. I don't know how much truth there were in these tales, although I think there was some factual basis on which Greek mythology was founded.
Homer's famous Iliad, written sometime around 800 B.C., was probably one of the greatest stories ever written and still considered a masterpiece. It centered on the siege of Troy, which until 1870 when the ruins were discovered, was believed to have been a mythical place. Until then, almost everyone thought the Iliad was fiction. Since Troy is now considered to have been a real place, the overwhelming consensus of archaeologists, what else about the Iliad could be factual? Did Achilles and Hector really exist? Were they indeed as powerful as Homer depicted? Good questions for which I have no answers but from what these early Greeks accomplished, and with their passionate beliefs in gods, goddesses, oracles and the muse, I suspect there is more truths to the Iliad and Greek mythology that modern man is willing to accept. Maybe he'd rather not wonder why the goddess Athena was so worshiped and revered, or why statues of her were so magnificently fashioned and erected everywhere. Or not to wonder why buildings were erected in the honor of the muse in so many places, even in Alexandria, Egypt when Ptolemy I ruled. These buildings in dedication to the muse were earlier known as 'museums' and even the word 'music' was derived from the word 'muse'.
By A.O. Kime