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Classical References

The Muses

The Muses are nine sisters, daughters of Zeus and Memory, who preside over the arts and philosophy. They reside on Mount Helicon, and are under the patronage of Apollo.

In the Classical period, the following names and assignments were accepted, although they may vary (and may be useful when planning Masques).

The Muses by Raphael
Calliope Poetry
Clio History
Polyhymnia Mime
Euterpe Instrumental music
Terpsichore Dance
Erato Choral music
Melpomene Tragedy
Thalia Comedy
Urania Astronomy

Other Deities of Our Acquaintance

Morpheus is the winged god of dreams, one of the children of Sleep.

Jupiter (or Jove) is the king of the Gods in the Roman pantheon. His Greek counterpart is Zeus. Both are into thunderbolts.

Mars (Ares) is the god of war. Note: Ares the god is not Aries the ram of the Zodiac.

Venus (Aphrodite) is understood to be the goddess of Love; she is married to Vulcan, who forges thunderbolts for Jupiter in a volcano. Her son is Cupid (Eros).

Vulcan (Hephaestus) is lame and ugly; Venus was once caught in flagrante with Mars!

Minerva (Athena) is the goddess of Wisdom. (Yes, we comfortably interchange Greek and Roman names. Hey, it's the Renaissance.)

Iris is the goddess of the Rainbow.

Hermes (her-meez) is messenger of the gods, and has special winged sandals for speed. He is also god of commerce, and speeds travelers on their way.

His son is pastoral Pan, who makes us panic.

Ganymede (gan-ee-meed) is the cup bearer of the gods, and thus any young boy or girl serving at table, or a page.

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Grimal: The Dictionary of Classical Mythology

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27 March 2008 mps