Information about Clio, the Muse of History
Clio was one of the young, beautiful maidens referred to as the Nine Muses. The nine Muses were the daughters of Zeus, the king of the gods, and Mnemosyne, the goddess of memory. The names of the nine Muses were Clio, Thalia, Erato, Euterpe, Polyhymnia, Calliope, Terpsichore, Urania and Melpomene. Clio and her sisters were believed to reside above the golden clouds that covered sacred the Greek mountain peaks above the summits of Mounts Olympus, Helicon, Parnassus, and Pindus. They entertained and joined the Olympian gods in their feasts drinking water, milk, and honey, but never wine. The sisters were originally the patron goddesses of poets and musicians but over time their roles extended to include comedy, tragedy, history, poetry, music, dancing, singing, rhetoric, sacred hymns, and harmony. Clio was the Muse of History.
Clio, the Muse of History
According to the traditions and beliefs of the Ancient Greeks historians would invoke the aid of Clio to guide and assist him in his work. The invocation took the form of a prayer for divine inspiration from the goddess. In Greek the name of the goddess translates as Kleio which means “to make famous” or “to celebrate.” The names of the most famous Greek and Roman historians are Herodotus, Thucydides, Strabo, Livy, Tacitus and Plutarch. In Ancient Greece, before books (scrolls) were readily available, all forms of knowledge were related orally. The 'Histories of Herodotus', whose primary means of delivery was public recitation, were divided by later editors into nine books, named after the nine Muses.
Facts about Clio, the Muse of History
The following fact file of this Greek goddess and Muse and details her symbols and attributes.
Clio was the Muse who represented and was the patron of History and Writing
She was called the 'Proclaimer'
She was the daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne
She enjoyed telling stories of the past
In Greek, the word 'history' is derived from kleos, meaning heroic acts
In Ancient Greek drama there were three types of plays: Comedies tragedies and satyres that were based on legends and real people from history
Her symbol was a parchment scroll, or a set of tablets
The alternative spelling of her name is Kleio
Astrology - The Asteroid Muse
In Astrology there are nine asteroids named after each of the nine Greek muses. Klio is a large and very dark main belt asteroid that was discovered by R. Luther on August 25, 1865, and named after the Muse of history in Greek mythology.
Clio in Greek Mythology
The muse and goddess Clio was not only gifted as an inspiration of History but, like all nymphs possessed the gift of prophecy. The mountain spring on Mount Parnassus was sacred to Clio and the other Muses. The mountain spring flowed between two high rocks above the city of Delphi, and in ancient times its sacred waters were introduced into a square stone basin, where they were retained for the use of the Pythia, the priests, priestesses and the oracle of Apollo.
The Powers of Clio and the Muses
Although the Muses were generally believed to be a source of inspiration and of help to mortals they were also vain and arrogant and severely resented any mortals who questioned their supremacy in the arts. The powers of Clio and her sisters were considerable. As goddesses, they were immortal and any mortals that were blessed by the Muses, could use the beauty of their song, or the grace of their dance, to heal the sick and provide comfort to the heartbroken. They also possessed the magical power of transformation and in one of the ancient myths nine sisters referred to as the Pierides challenged Clio and the other Muses to a contest. The Muses won and then turned the Pierides into chattering birds.