|“||The Nine Muses cranked up the tunes, and I realized the music was whatever you wanted it to be: the gods could listen to classical and the younger demigods heard hip hop or whatever, and it was all on the same sound track. No arguments. No fights to change the radio station. Just requests to crank it up.||”|
Calliope, Clio, Erato, Euterpe, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia and Urania are the Muses, nine goddesses who preside over inspiration, the sciences, the arts, poetry and literature. Their leader is Apollo, who lead them in song.
According to Hesiod'sTheogony, the Muses were born in the region of Pieria, wherein lies Mount Olympus. They were conceived when Zeus appeared before Mnemosyne and lay with her for nine consecutive nights.
Some time later, Thamyris challenged the Muses to a singing contest. They won and punished Thamyris by blinding him and robbing him of his singing ability. The center of their cult was Mount Helicon, located in Boeotia.
Attendants of Apollo
Tale of Orpheus
The Muses were shown to be starting a concert on Olympus when Percy returns the Master Bolt. The Muses and everyone else bow to Percy as a sign of respect for performing a great task for the gods. As the gods celebrate, the Muses play music that sounds like anything you want, so no one argues about the music.
The Muses perform at the final celebration after the gods had decided that Percy Jackson and Thalia Grace were not going to be killed. According to Percy, everybody hears the music they only want to hear, like classical for the gods and hip hop for the younger demigods. He later shares a dance with Annabeth Chase and the song he hears changes to a slow one, though he was not sure what she was hearing.
While Meg McCaffrey and the former god Apollo wander the streets of Manhattan, searching for Percy Jackson, Apollo tries thinking positive thoughts, one of which includes hearing the Nine Muses in perfect harmony.
MembersThere are nine Muses:
- Calliope - Calliope is the Muse of epic poetry. Her name means “she of a beautiful voice”. Some accounts say that Calliope was the lover of Ares and bore him several sons, from whom many Thracian tribes claimed descent. Calliope had two famous sons, Orpheus and Linus by King Oeagrus of Thrace.
- Clio - Clio is the Muse of history. Her name is derived from the Greek word kleo (“to make famous, to celebrate”). She has been credited with introducing the Pheonician alphabet into Greece. Her son Hyacinthus was a lover of Apollo.
- Erato - The Muse of love poetry. Her name is derived from the Greek word eros and means “desired, lovely”.
- Euterpe - Euturpe is the Muse of music and lyric poetry. Her name means “well pleasing”. She invented the aulos or double-flute, which is her attribute. She lay with the river god Strymon and gave birth to her son Rhesus, who led a band of Thracians and was killed by Diomedes in the Trojan War. Her daughter Marilyn repaired Apollo's combat ukulele after it was damaged in the fight at the Tomb of Tarquin.
- Melpomene - She is the Muse of tragedy. Her name is derived from the Greek verb melpô or melpomai, meaning “to celebrate with dance and song”. In Roman and Greek poetry, it was traditional to invoke the goddess Melpomene so that one might create beautiful lyrical phrases.
- Polyhymnia - The Muse of hymns and oratory.
- Terpsichore - Terpsichore is the Muse of dancing and choral songs. Her name means “delighting in dance.” She is sometimes said to be the mother of the Sirens by Achelous.
- Thalia - Thalia is the Muse of comedy. Her name means “blooming, flourishing”. She was the eighth-born of the nine Muses.
- Urania - Urania is the Muse of astrology. She was the last of the Muses to be born. Her name means “heavenly, of heaven”.
This is how the Muses are depicted in the book series:
- Calliope is always seen with a writing tablet in her hand. She was depicted carrying a roll of paper/book and wearing a golden crown.
- Clio is often represented with a parchment scroll or a set of tablets.
- Erato is often depicted with a wreath of myrtle and roses She holds a golden arrow, reminding one of the "eros," the feeling that she inspires in everybody, holding a lyre or a cithara. At times, she is accompanied by the Eros, holding a torch. In some representations, she has two turtle-doves eating seeds at her feet.
- Euterpe is often seen carrying an aulos or double-flute,, her main attribute.
- Melpomene is often represented with a tragic mask and a crown of cypress, and cothurnus, boots traditionally worn by tragic actors. She often holds a knife or club in one hand and the tragic mask in the other.
- Polyhymnia is depicted as very serious, pensive and meditative. She often holds a finger to her mouth and rests her elbow on a pillar. She is dressed in a long cloak and veil.
- Terpsichore is usually depicted sitting down, holding a lyre, accompanying the dancers' choirs with her music.
- Thalia was portrayed as a young woman with a joyous air, crowned with ivy, wearing boots, and holding a comic mask in her hand. Many of her statues hold a bugle and a trumpeth (both used to support the actors' voices in ancient comedy) or occasionally a shepherd's staff and a comic mask or a wreath of ivy.
- Urania is often seen with a globe and compass.
- Inspiration Manipulation: As the Goddesses of Inspiration, the Muses have divine authority and absolute control over inspiration.
- Control of the Arts: As the Goddesses of Science, Arts, Poetry and Literature, the Muses have divine authority and absolute control over the specific art that each of them represent.
- Musical Aptitude: All the Muses are exceptional and fond of music, though not to the extent of Apollo. Whenever they touch musical instruments and/or sing, the people who hear their performance hear whatever music they like.
The word 'Museum', comes from the Muses.
Muse usually means inspiration, either for an artist or poets.
- People would pray to the Muses for inspiration.
- There is a magazine called Muse for ages 9 to 12, and it uses Urania.
- Few of the Muses have been addressed by name in any of the series
- Calliope is mentioned as the mother of Orpheus in Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes.
- In The Hidden Oracle, Apollo reminds Sally Jackson to burn the proper sacrifices to Calliope, since Calliope oversees writers and Sally was publishing a novel.
- Euterpe's daughter, Marilyn, repairs Apollo's ukulele for him after it is badly damaged.
- Thalia shares her name with one of Thalia, Charite of abundance, and one of her father's demigod children, Thalia Grace, who felt attracted to Apollo as well.
- In some myths, Thalia and Apollo are the parents of the Corybantes.
- Their Norse equivalent would be Bragi and the Nine Billow Maidens.