Euterpe was a source of inspiration to poets, dramatists and authors, such as Homer, who lived in Ancient Greece.
Information about Euterpe, the Muse of Music
Euterpe 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. Euterpe 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. Euterpe was the Muse of Music.
Euterpe, the Muse of Music
According to the traditions and beliefs of the Ancient Greeks musicians would invoke the aid of Euterpe, the Muse of Music, to inspire, guide and assist him in his compositions. The invocation took the form of a prayer for divine inspiration from the goddess. The modern word 'music' derives from the Muses. Music in Ancient Greece played a vital role in the daily lives of all the ancient Greeks. Music was played at marriages, funerals, religious ceremonies, games, theatre and the ballad-like reciting of epic poetry. The ancient Greeks used string, wind, and percussion musical instruments. Euterpe was said to have invented the flute and other wind instruments and her symbol was the Aulos, a type of double flute. The sound of the Aulos was described as "penetrating, insisting and exciting".
Facts about Euterpe, the Muse of Music
The following fact file about this Greek goddess and Muse and details her symbols and attributes.
Euterpe was the Muse who represented and was the patron of Music
She was the daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne
She is said to have invented the flute and other wind instruments
Her symbol was the the Aulos, a type of double flute
Her name was derived from the Greek words meaning the "giver of much delight."
She had a son called Rhesus with the river-god Strymon
Astrology - The Asteroid Muse
In Astrology there are nine asteroids named after each of the nine Greek muses. Euterpe is a large main-belt asteroid one of the brightest asteroids in the night sky. It was discovered by J. R. Hind on November 8, 1853, and named after the Muse of music in Greek mythology.
Euterpe in Greek Mythology
The muse and goddess Euterpe was not only gifted as an inspiration of Music but, like all nymphs possessed the gift of prophecy. The mountain spring on Mount Parnassus was sacred to Euterpe 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 Euterpe 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 Euterpe 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 Euterpe and the other Muses to a contest. The Muses won and then turned the Pierides into chattering birds.