when, Calliope, thy loud harp rang --
Epic grandeur rose the lofty strain;
clash of arms, the trumpet's awful clang
with the roar of conflict on the plain;
ardent warrior bade his coursers wheel,
in dust the feeble and the brave,
flashed upon his glittering steel,
round his brow encrimsoned laurels waved,
o'er him shrilly shrieked the demon of the grave.
from "An Ode To Music", by James G. Percival
inspired me to write about Calliope. And no, I am not going to write
about the City Worker. You may have missed the most recent Critique
Club, involving Hercules, a brief reference about my favorite evil
company (Disney) and some talk of Greek names that I can't spell, but I can
fill you in at another time. At that meeting, a certain City Worker (I bet you'll never guess
who!) inspired to me to do some research on Greek muses. So now I'm on
my mission (or maybe it's a labor like the 12 of Hercules) to find out
more about these characters in Greek Mythology.
First off, I needed to figure out what a Muse was. I surfed on over to dictionary.com and discovered that Zeus and Mnemosyne had nine
daughters, each of which was a Muse. Each of the daughters was
considered responsible for an art or science. Apart from Calliope there
was also Clio, Erato, Euterpe, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore,
Thalia, and Urania. If all goes according to plan, I am hoping to write
an article for each. But today's topic is Calliope, so we'll stick to
Also known as Calliopeia or Kalliope, which means "Fair Voiced", she was the oldest of
the nine sisters and the Chief Muse. The Muse of epic poetry, she was
also responsible for granting the gift of eloquence to any Kings or
Princes. Calliope is often portrayed as carrying a stylus or scroll and
often wearing a grown of gold.
known mainly for two things, I have discovered. First off, she fancied Achilles (yes, the guy with the weak tendon in his ankle). She taught
Achilles to sing so that he could could cheer on his friends at
banquets. While his singing served as entertainment, it also helped to
improve the morals of his friends. She was also called before Zeus to
negotiate the custody of Adonis between Aphrodite and Persephone. In
the end, Calliope decided that Adonis need time alone occasionally, and
would otherwise be given equal time with each goddess.
different children, depending on the region you heard the myth. Most
often, she had one son, Linus, who was fathered by Apollo. Calliope
abandoned Linus at birth, sadly. Other versions of the myth say that
Calliope and King Thrace had a son, Orpheus. It is also believed that
she may have given birth to Carybantes, Hymen, Ialemus, Rhesus, Oeagrus,
and the Sirens (a group of birds with women's bodies). Aside from Rhesus, all of Calliope's children were somehow associated
with music or poetry.
after writing this that Greek mythology is equal to modern-day soap
operas. I have come to understand, however, that Calliope was fair and
talented and therefore she deserves some credit.
Chaos for now.
Roman Mythology (A-M)" [Online]
"The Muses from Greek Mythology" [Online]
"Calliope", "The Sirens" [Online]
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