3 thoughts on “Musée du Louvre

  1. shinichi Post author

    Paestan red-figure lekanis

    Department of Greek, Etruscan, and Roman Antiquities: Classical Greek Art (5th-4th centuries BC)



    The workshops of Paestum (Greek name: Poseidonia) in southern Italy began vase production ca. 370 BC under the impetus of painters of Sicilian origin. Asteas, whose name is known to us through several signed vases, introduced the particularities that characterize this local style. The Louvre lekanis, attributed to Asteas and dated to the middle of the 4th century BC, is a toilet accessory with a lid bearing a mythological scene: the musical contest between Apollo and Marsyas.

    Apollo and Marsyas

    For the lid decoration of this lekanis, Asteas chose a theme rarely depicted on objects of this type: the musical contest between Apollo and Marsyas. Marsyas, the satyr of Phrygia, was supposed to have invented the double flute (aulos). Proud of his discovery and the sonorous tone of his instrument, he challenged Apollo, thinking himself better on his flute than the god on his lyre. But Marsyas lost and Apollo hung him from a tree and skinned him alive. The composition is played out in frieze around the lid. A small white building is probably meant to represent a sanctuary; sprigs of laurel, the tree emblematic of Apollo, fill the decorative space. Apollo and Marsyas are seated on rocks, each playing his respective instrument. Marsyas wears an animal skin and ankle boots. Apollo, richly garbed in a decorated long-sleeved tunic and himation, plays the cither. The adversaries are accompanied by three muses posing gracefully on the rocks and holding various objects. The muse seated nearest to the god plays a cither, another makes ready to open a box, and the third holds a lyre. They wear chitons and himations and are adorned with jewelry. These female figures correspond to the general depiction of the female sphere found on this type of toilet accessory.

    The lekanis

    The lekanis is a container composed of a body with handles and a flat knobbed lid, often decorated with plant motifs. This women’s toilet accessory is common in the pottery production of southern Italy and Sicily. The piece in the Louvre is notable for its large size and excellent condition. Painters typically chose decorative elements connected to the female sphere or painted woman’s heads on the lekanides. Asteas, however, shows originality in opting for a mythological subject, one rarely depicted on pottery. The shape of the lekanis is accentuated by the secondary decoration: a garland of laurel leaves on the container’s rim and a wave motif around the edge of the lid.

    The pottery of Paestum

    Paestum, located south of Naples on the border between present-day Campania and Basilicata, was founded under the name Poseidonia by the Greeks of Sybaris ca. 600 BC. Paestan vase production began around 380 BC under the influence of potters and painters from Sicily. The pottery is characterized by its consistent quality but also by its easily recognizable style, present throughout the 4th century BC in the work of two major painters known to us from their signatures: Asteas and his disciple Python. Asteas’s signature (Assteas egraph) has been found painted or incised on eleven large vases of exceptional quality. During the second quarter of the 4th century BC, the artist defined the characteristics of the Paestan style in producing mainly amphorae and kraters but also smaller vases of various forms. Asteas is, along with Python, one of the masters of Paestan pottery, whose style is distinguished by the use of squat, round-headed figures and compositions heightened with different colors, framed by demi-palmette and fan-shaped plant motifs. His themes are often inspired by dionysiac subjects, but also by tragic or comic drama. On the Louvre lekanis, Asteas has depicted Apollo and Marsyas in a calm, serene ambience, suggestive of Greek drama.

  2. shinichi Post author

    Muses (Mousai)



    THE MOUSAI (Muses) were the goddesses of music, song and dance, and the source of inspiration to poets. They were also goddesses of knowledge, who remembered all things that had come to pass. Later the Mousai were assigned specific artistic spheres: Kalliope (Calliope), epic poetry; Kleio (Clio), history; Ourania (Urania), astronomy; Thaleia (Thalia), comedy; Melpomene, tragedy; Polymnia (Polyhymnia), religious hymns; Erato, erotic poetry; Euterpe, lyric poetry; and Terpsikhore (Terpsichore), choral song and dance.

    In ancient Greek vase painting the Mousai were depicted as beautiful young women with a variety of musical intruments. In later art each of the nine was assigned her own distinctive attribute.

    There were two alternative sets of Mousai–the three or four Mousai Titanides and the three Mousai Apollonides.


    MUSAE (Mousai). The Muses, according to the earliest writers, were the inspiring goddesses of song, and, according to later noticus, divinities presiding over the different kinds of poetry, and over the arts and sciences. They were originally regarded as the nymphs of inspiring wells, near which they were worshipped, and bore different names in different places, until the Thraco-Boeotian worship of the nine Muses spread from Boeotia over other parts of Greece, and ultimately became generally established. (Respecting the Muses conceived as nymphs see Schol. ad Theocrit. vii. 92; Hesych. s. v. Numphê; Steph. Byz. s. v. Torrêbos ; Serv. ad Virg. Eclog. vii. 21.)

    The genealogy of the Muses is not the same in all writers. The most common notion was, that they were the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, and born in Pieria, at the foot of Mount Olympus (Hes. Theog. 52, &c., 915; Hom. Il. ii. 491, Od. i. 10; Apollod. i. 3. § 1); but some call them the daughters of Uranus and Gaea (Schol. ad Pind. Nem. iii. 16; Paus. ix. 29. § 2; Diod. iv. 7; Arnob. adv. Gent. iii. 37), and others daughters of Pierus and a Pimpleian nymph, whom Cicero (De Nat. Deor. iii. 21) calls Antiope (Tzetz. ad Hes. Op. et D. p. 6; Paus. l. c.), or of Apollo, or of Zeus and Plusia, or of Zeus and Moneta, probably a mere translation of Mnemosyne or Mneme, whence they are called Mnemonides (Ov. Met. v. 268), or of Zeus and Minerva (Isid. Orig. iii. 14), or lastly of Aether and Gaea. (Hygin. Fab. Praef.) Eupheme is called the nurse of the Muses, and at the foot of Mount Helicon her statue stood beside that of Linus. (Paus. ix. 29. § 3.)

    With regard to the number of the Muses, we are informed that originally three were worshipped on Mount Helicon in Boeotia, namely, Melete (meditation), Mneme (memory), and Aoede (song); and their worship and names are said to have been first introduced by Ephialtes and Otus. (Paus. ix. 29. § 1, &c.) Three were also recognised at Sicyon, where one of them bore the name of Polymatheia (Plut. Sympos. ix. 14), and at Delphi, where their names were identical with those of the lowest, middle, and highest chord of the lyre, viz. Nete, Mese, and Hypate (Plut. l. c.), or Cephisso, Apollonis, and Borysthenis, which names characterise them as the daughters of Apollo. (Tzetz. l. c. ; Arnob. iii. 37; Serv. ad Virg. Eclog. vii. 21; Diod. iv. 7.) As daughters of Zeus and Plusia we find mention of four Muses, viz. Thelxinoe (the heart delighting), Aoede (song), Arche (beginning), and Melete. (Cic., Arnob., Tzetz. ll. cc. ; Serv. ad Aen. i. 12.) Some accounts, again, in which they are called daughters of Pierus, mention seven Muses, viz. Neilo, Tritone, Asopo, Heptapora, Achelois, Tipoplo, and Rhodia (Tzetz. Arnob. ll. cc.), and others, lastly, mention eight, which is also said to have been the number recognised at Athens. (Arnob. l. c.; Serv. ad Aen. i. 12; Plat. De Re Publ. p. 116.) At length, however, the number nine appears to have become established in all Greece. Homer sometimes mentions Musa only in the singular, and sometimes Musae in the plural, and once only (Od. xxiv. 60) he speaks of nine Muses, though without mentioning any of their names. Hesiod (Theog. 77. &c.) is the first that states the names of all the nine, and these nine names henceforth became established. They are Cleio, Euterpe, Thaleia, Melpomene, Terpsichore, Erato, Polymnia, Urania, and Calliope. Plutarch (l. c.) states that in some places all nine were designated by the common name Mneiae, i. e. Remembrances.

    If we now inquire into the notions entertained about the nature and character of the Muses, we find that, in the Homeric poems, they are the goddesses of song and poetry, and live in Olympus. (Il. ii. 484.) There they sing the festive songs at the repasts of the immortals (Il. i. 604, Hymn. in Apoll. Pyth. 11), and at the funeral of Patroclus they sing lamentations. (Od. xxiv. 60; comp. Pind. Isthm. viii. 126.) The power which we find most frequently assigned to them, is that of bringing before the mind of the mortal poet the events which he has to relate; and that of conferring upon him the gift of song, and of giving gracefulness to what he utters. (Il. ii. 484, 491, 761, Od. i. 1, viii. 63, &c., 481, 488; Eustath. ad Hom. p. 259.) There seems to be no reason for doubting that the earliest poets in their invocation of the Muse or Muses were perfectly sincere, and that they actually believed in their being inspired by the goddesses; but in later times among the Greeks and the Romans, as well as in our own days, the invocation of the Muses is a mere formal imitation of the early poets. Thamyris, who presumed to excel the Muses, was deprived by them of the gift they had bestowed on him, and punished with blindness. (Hom. Il. ii. 594, &c.; Apollod. i. 3. § 3.) The Seirens, who likewise ventured upon a contest with them, were deprived of the feathers of their wings, and the Muses themselves put them on as an ornament (Eustath. ad Hom. P. 85); and the nine daughters of Pierus, who presumed to rival the Muses, were metamorphosed into birds. (Anton. Lib. 9; Ov. Met. v. 300, &c.) As poets and bards derived their power from them, they are frequently called either their disciples or sons. (Hom. Od. viii. 481, Hymn. in Lun. 20 ; Hes. Theog. 22; Pind. Nem. iii.; Serv. ad Virg. Georg. ii. 476.) Thus Linus is called a son of Amphimarus and Urania (Paus. ix. 29. § 3), or of Apollo and Calliope, or Terpsichore (Apollod. i. 3. § 2); Hyacinthus a son of Pierus and Cleio (Apollod. i. 3. § 3); Orpheus a son of Calliope or Cleio, and Thamyris a son of Erato. These and a few others are the cases in which the Muses are described as mothers; but the more general idea was, that, like other nymphs, they were virgin divinities. Being goddesses of song, they are naturally connected with Apollo, the god of the lyre, who like them instructs the bards, and is mentioned along with them even by Homer. (Il. i. 603, Od. viii. 488.) In later times Apollo is placed in very close connection with the Muses, for he is described as the leader of the choir of the Muses by the surname Mousagetês. (Diod. i. 18.) A further feature in the character of the Muses is their prophetic power, which belongs to them, partly because they were regarded as inspiring nymphs, and partly because of their connection with the prophetic god of Delphi. Hence, they instructed, for example, Aristaeus in the art of prophecy. (Apollon. Rhod. ii. 512.) That dancing, too, was one of the occupations of the Muses, may be inferred from the close connection existing among the Greeks between music, poetry, and dancing. As the inspiring nymphs loved to dwell on Mount Helicon, they were naturally associated with Dionysus and dramatic poetry, and hence they are described as the companions, playmates, or nurses of Dionysus.

    The worship of the Muses points originally to Thrace and Pieria about mount Olympus, from whence it was introduced into Boeotia, in such a manner that the names of mountains, grottoes, and wells, connected with their worship, were likewise transferred from the north to the south. Near mount Helicon, Ephialtes and Otus are said to have offered the first sacrifices to them; and in the same place there was a sanctuary with their statues, the sacred wells Aganippe and Hippocrene, and on mount Leibethrion, which is connected with Helicon, there was a sacred grotto of the Muses. (Paus. ix. 29. § 1, &c., 30. § 1, 31. § 3; Strab. pp. 410, 471; Serv. ad Virg. Eclog. x. 11.) Pierus, a Macedonian, is said to have been the first who introduced the worship of the nine Muses, from Thrace to Thespiae, at the foot of mount Helicon. (Paus. ix. 29. § 2.) There they had a temple and statues, and the Thespians celebrated a solemn festival of the Muses on mount Helicon, called Mouseia (Paus. ix. 27. § 4, 31. § 3; Pind. Fragm. p. 656, ed. Boeckh; Diod. xvii. 16.) Mount Parnassus was likewise sacred to them, with the Castalian spring, near which they had a temple. (Plut. De Pyth. Orac. 17.) From Boeotia, which thus became the focus of the worship of the nine Muses, it afterwards spread into the adjacent and more distant parts of Greece. Thus we find at Athens a temple of the Muses in the Academy (Paus. i. 30. § 2); at Sparta sacrifices were offered to them before fighting a battle (iii. 17. § 5); at Troezene, where their worship had been introduced by Ardalus, sacrifices were offered to them conjointly with Hypnos, the god of sleep (Paus. iii. 31. §4 , &c.); at Corinth, Peirene, the spring of Pegasus, was sacred to them (Pers. Sat. Prol. 4; Stat. Silv. ii. 7. 1); at Rome they had an altar in common with Hercules, who was also regarded as Musagetes, and they possessed a temple at Ambracia adorned with their statues. (Plut. Quaest. Rom. 59; Plin. H. N. xxxv. 36.) The sacrifices offered to them consisted of libations of water or milk, and of honey. (Schol. ad Soph. Oed. Col. 100; Serv. ad Virg. Eclog. vii. 21.) The various surnames by which they are designated by the poets are for the most part derived from the places which were sacred to them or in which they were worshipped, while some are descriptive of the sweetness of their songs.

    In the most ancient works of art we find only three Muses, and their attributes are musical instruments, such as the flute, the lyre, or the barbiton. Later artists gave to each of the nine sisters different attributes as well as different attitudes, of which we here add a brief account. 1. Calliope, the Muse of epic poetry, appears with a tablet and stylus, and sometimes with a roll of paper; 2. Cleio, the Muse of history, appears in a sitting attitude, with an open roll of paper, or an open chest of books; 3. Euterpe, the Muse of lyric poetry, with a flute; 4. Melpomene, the Muse of tragedy, with a tragic mask, the club of Heracles, or a sword, her head is surrounded with vine leaves, and she wears the cothurnus; 5. Terpsichore, the Muse of choral dance and song, appears with the lyre and the plectrum; 6. Erato, the Muse of erotic poetry and mimic imitation, sometimes, also, has the lyre; 7. Polymnia, or Polyhymnia, the Muse of the sublime hymn, usually appears without any attribute, in a pensive or meditating attitude; 8. Urania, the Muse of astronomy, with a staff pointing to a globe; 9. Thaleia, the Muse of comedy and of merry or idyllic poetry, appears with the comic mask, a shepherd’s staff, or a wreath of ivy. In some representations the Muses are seen with feathers on their heads, alluding to their contest with the Seirens.



    Homer, Iliad 2. 597 ff (trans. Lattimore) (Greek epic C8th B.C.) :
    “The Mousai (Muses), daughters of Zeus who holds the aigis.”

    Homer, Odyssey 8. 457 ff (trans. Shewring) (Greek epic C8th B.C.) :
    “The Mousa (Muse) . . . daughter of Zeus himself.”

    Hesiod, Theogony 1 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or C7th B.C.) :
    “Them [the Mousai (Muses)] in Pieria did Mnemosyne (Memory), who reigns over the hills of Eleuther, bear of union with the father [Zeus], the son of Kronos (Cronus), a forgetting of ills and a rest from sorrow. For nine nights did wise Zeus lie with her, entering her holy bed remote from the immortals. And when a year was passed and the seasons came round as the months waned, and many days were accomplished, she bare nine daughters, all of one mind, whose hearts are set upon song and their spirit free from care, a little way from the topmost peak of snowy Olympos (Olympus). There are their bright dancing-places and beautiful homes, and beside them the Kharites (Charites, Graces) and Himeros (Desire) live in delight. And they, uttering through their lips a lovely voice, sing the laws of all and the goodly ways of the immortals, uttering their lovely voice. Then went they to Olympos, delighting in their sweet voice, with heavenly song, and the dark earth resounded about them as they chanted, and a lovely sound rose up beneath their feet as they went to their father [Zeus]. And he was reigning in heaven, himself holding the lightning and glowing thunderbolt, when he had overcome by might his father Kronos; and he distributed fairly to the immortals [including the Mousai] their portions and declared their privileges . . .
    The Mousai (Muses) who dwell on Olympos, nine daughters begotten by great Zeus, Kleio (Clio) and Euterpe, Thaleia (Thalia), Melpomene and Terpsikhore (Terpsichore), and Erato and Polymnia (Polyhymnia) and Ourania (Urania) and Kalliope (Calliope), who is the chiefest of them all.”

    Hesiod, Theogony 915 ff :
    “And again, he [Zeus] loved Mnemosyne (Memory) with the beautiful hair: and of her the nine gold-crowned Mousai (Muses) were born who delight in feasts and the pleasures of song.”

    Homeric Hymn 32 to Selene (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C7th – 4th B.C.) :
    “Sweet voiced Mousai (Muses), daughters of Zeus.”

    Eumelus, Fragment 35 (from Tzetzes, On Hesiod’s Works & Days 23) (trans. West, Vol. Greek Epic Fragments) (C8th to 7th B.C.) :
    “But Eumelos (Eumelus) of Korinthos (Corinth) says there are three Mousai (Muses), daughters of Apollon: Kephiso (Cephiso), Apollonis, and Borysthenis.”

    Pindar, Paean 7 (trans. Sandys) (Greek lyric C5th B.C.) :
    “I pray to Mnamosyna (Mnemosyne, Memory), the fair-robed child of Ouranos (Uranus, Heaven), and to her daughters [the Mousai (Muses)].”

    Alcman, Fragment 5 (from Scholia) (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric II) (C7th B.C.) :
    “He [Alkman (Alcman)] made the Mousai (Muses) the daughters of Ge (Gaea, the Earth), as Mimnermos does.”

    Alcman, Fragment 8 :
    “Blessed Mosai (Muses), whom Mnemosyne (Memory) bore to Zeus having lain with him.”

    Alcman, Fragment 67 (from Diodorus Siculus) :
    “Most of the mythographers, including those of the highest reputation say that he Mousai (Muses) are the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne (Memory); but one or two of the poets, Alkman (Alcman) among them, make them the daughters of Ouranos (Uranus, the Sky) and Ge (Gaea, the Earth).”

    Terpander, Fragment 4 (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric II) (C7th B.C.) :
    “The Mousai (Muses), the daughters of Mnamas (Mnemosyne, Memory).”

    Praxilla of Sicyon, Fragment 3 (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric IV) (C5th B.C.) :
    “Nine Mousai (Muses) were created by great Ouranos (Uranus, the Sky), nine by Gaia (Gaea, the Earth) herself to be an undying joy for mortals.”

    Aristotle, Fragment 842 (from Athenaeus, Scholars at Dinner) (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric V) (C5th B.C.) :
    “The Mousai (Muses), daughters of Mnamosyna (Mnemosyne, Memory).”

    Mimnermus, Fragment 13 (from Oxyrhynchus papyrus) (trans. Gerber, Vol. Greek Elegiac) (Greek elegy C7th B.C.) :
    “In the genealogy given by Mimnermos, the Mousai (Muses) are daughters of Ge (Gaea, the Earth).”

    Solon, Fragment 13 (trans. Gerber, Vol. Greek Elegiac) (Greek elegy C6th B.C.) :
    “Resplendent daughters of Mnemosyne and Zeus Olympios (Olympian), Mousai Pierides (Pierian Muses).”

    Plato, Theaetetus 191c (trans. Lamb) (Greek philosopher C4th B.C.) :
    “Mnemosyne (Memory), the mother of the Mousai (Muses).”

    Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 13 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
    “Mnemosyne [bore to Zeus] the Mousai (Muses), the eldest of whom was Kalliope (Calliope), followed by Kleio (Clio), Melpomene, Euterpe, Erato, Terpsikhore (Terpsichore), Ourania (Urania), Thaleia (Thalia), and Polymnia (Polyhymnia).”

    Plato, Cratylus 259 (trans. Lamb) (Greek philosopher C4th B.C.) :
    “[The Mousai (Muses) :] Terpsikhore (Terpsichore) for the dancers . . . Erato for the lovers, and of the other Mousai (Muses) for those who do them honour . . . Kalliope (Calliope) the eldest Mousa (Muse) and of Ourania (Urania) who is next to her, for the philosophers.”

    Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 4. 7. 1 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek historian C1st B.C.) :
    “As for the Mousai (Muses) . . . the majority of the writers of myths and those who enjoy the greatest reputation say that they were daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne (Memory); but a few poets, among whose number is Alkman (Alcman) [lyric poet C7th B.C.] state that they were daughters of Ouranos (Uranus, Sky) and Ge (Gaea, Earth). Writers similarly disagree also concerning the number of the Mousai; for some say they are but thee, and others that they are nine, but the number nine has prevailed since it rests upon the authority of the most distinguished men, such as Homer and Hesiod and others like them. Homer, for instance writes : ‘The Mousai, nine in all, replying each to each with voices sweet’; and Hesiod even gives their names when he writes : ‘Kleio, Euterpe, and Thaleia, Melpomene, Terpsikhore and Erato, and Polymnia, Ourania, Kalliope too, of them all the most comely.’”

    Pausanias, Description of Greece 9. 39. 3 ff (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
    “”The first to sacrifice on Helikon to the Mousai (Muses) and to call the mountain sacred to the Mousai were, they say, Ephialtes and Otos (Otus), who also founded Askra (Ascra). To this also Hegesinus alludes in his poem Atthis [Greek poet uncertain date] . . . This poem of Hegesinos (Hegesinus) I have not read, for it was no longer extant when I was born. But Kallipos (Callipus) of Korinthos (Corinth) [Greek writer C5th B.C.] in his History of Orkhomenos uses the verses of Hegesinos as evidence in support of his own views, and I too have done likewise, using the quotation of Kallipos himself . . . The sons of Aloeus [i.e. the Aloadai] held that the Mousai were three in number, and gave them the names of Melete (Practice), Mneme (Memory) and Aoede (Song).
    But they say that afterwards Pieros (Pierus), a Makedonian (Macedonian), after whom the mountain in Makedonia was named, came to Thespiai (Thespiae) and established nine Mousai, changing their names to the present ones. Pieros was of this opinion either because it seemed to him wiser, or because an oracle so ordered, or having so learned from one of the Thrakians (Thracians). For the Thrakians had the reputation of old of being more clever than the Makedonians, and in particular of being not so careless in religious matters. There are some who say that Pieros himself had nine daughters [the Pierides], that their names were the same as those of the goddesses, and that those whom the Greeks called the children of the Mousai were sons of the daughters of Pieros.
    Mimnermos [Greek poet C6th B.C.], who composed elegiac verses about the battle between the Smyrnaians and the Lydians under Gyges, says in the preface that the elder Mousai (Muses) are daughters of Ouranos (Uranus, Sky), and that there are other and younger Mousai, children of Zeus.”

    Antoninus Liberalis, Metamorphoses 9 (trans. Celoria) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
    “Zeus made love to Mnemosyne in Pieria and became father of the Mousai (Muses).”

    Orphic Hymn 76 to the Muses (trans. Taylor) (Greek hymns C3rd B.C. to 2nd A.D.) :
    “The Mousai (Muses) . . . daughters of Mnemosyne (Memory) and Zeus . . . sweetly speaking Nine . . . Kleio (Clio), and Erato who charms the sight, with thee, Euterpe, ministering delight : Thalia flourishing, Polymnia famed, Melpomene from skill in music named : Terpsikhore (Terpsichore), Ourania (Urania) heavenly bright.”

    Cicero, De Natura Deorum 3. 21 (trans. Rackham) (Roman rhetorician C1st B.C.) :
    “[Cicero sets out several traditions concerning the Muses:] Again the first set of Musae (Muses) are four, the daughters of the second Jupiter [i.e. Ouranos, Uranus], Thelixonoe, Aode, Arche and Melete; the second set are the offspring of the third Jupiter [i.e. Zeus Olympios] and Mnemosyne, nine in number; the third set are the daughters of Pierus and Antiope, and are usually called by the poets Peirides or Peirian Maidens; they are the same in number and have the same names as the next preceding set.”

    Pliny the Elder, Natural History 4. 25 (trans. Rackham) (Roman encyclopedia C1st A.D.) :
    “The Musae (Muses) are assigned a birth-place in the grove of Helicon [in Boiotia].”

    Arnobius, Against the Heathen 3. 37 (Roman Christian rhetorician C3rd A.D.) :
    “We are told by Mnaseas [Greek writer C3rd B.C.] that the Musae (Muses) are the daughters of Tellus (Earth) [Gaia] and Coelus (Heaven) [Ouranos]; others declare that they are Jove’s by his wife Moneta [Mnemosyne, Memory], or Mens (Mind) [Metis?]; some relate that they were virgins, others that they were matrons. For now we wish to touch briefly on the points where you are shown, from the difference of your opinions, to make different statements about the same thing. Ephorus [historian C4th B.B.], then, says that they are three in number; Mnaseas, whom we mentioned, that they are four; Myrtilus brings forward seven; Crates [the philosopher? C4th B.C.] asserts that there are eight; finally Hesiod, enriching heaven and the stars with gods, comes forward with nine names.”

    Pausanias, Description of Greece 9. 29. 5 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
    “As you go along the straight road to the grove [of the Mousai (Muses) on Mount Helikon (Helicon) in Boiotia] is a portrait of Eupheme (Well Spoken) carved in relief on a stone. She was, they say, the nurse of the Mousai.”

    Pseudo-Hyginus, Astronomica 2. 27 (trans. Grant) (Roman mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
    “Crotus, son of Eupheme, nurse of the Musae (Muses). As Sositheus, writer of tragedies [Greek C3rd B.C.], says, he had his home on Mount Helicon and took his pleasure in the company of the Musae.”

  3. shinichi Post author




     ギリシャ語: Ἐρατώ [eratɔ̌ː エラトー]
     ラテン語: Erato [エラトー]
     イタリア語: Erato [エラート]
     フランス語: Érato [エラト]
     英語: Erato [エラトウ]
     ドイツ語: Erato [エラート/エーラト]

    名まえの意味は「愛らしい女」ってことで、ἐράω [eráɔː エラオー](愛する)っていう動詞からきてる ἐραστός [erastós エラストス](愛すべき、愛らしい)の叙事詩のかたち ἐρατός [eratós エラトス]と関係がある。担当は恋愛詩とか独吟叙情詩とかいわれてるけど、これは合唱隊叙情詩みたいにコロスがうたいおどるもんじゃなくて、ひとりでうたう歌のことだ。こういうものはとうぜん恋の歌がおおいだろうから、恋愛詩があてはめられたのは名まえの意味からよくわかる。


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