melisa

who embody the arts and inspire creation with their graces through remembered and improvised song and stage, writing, traditional music, and dance. In one myth, King Pierus, king of Macedon, had nine daughters he named after the nine Muses, believing that their skills were a great match to the Muses. He thus challenged the Muses to a match, resulting in his daughters, the Pierides, being turned into chattering magpies[9] for their presumption. Sometimes they are referred to as water nymphs, associated with the springs of Helicon and with Pieris. It was said that the winged horse Pegasus touched his hooves to the ground on Helicon, causing four sacred springs to burst forth, from which the muses were born.[10] Athena later tamed the horse and presented him to the muses. Antiquity set Apollo as their leader, Apollon Mousagetēs (“Apollo Muse-leader”).[11] Not only are the Muses explicitly used in modern English to refer to an artistic inspiration, as when one cites one’s own artistic muse, but they also are implicit in words and phrases such as “amuse”, “museum” (Latinised from mouseion—a place where the muses were worshipped), “music”, and “musing upon”.[12] According to Hesiod’s Theogony (7th century BC), they were daughters of Zeus, the second generation king of the gods, and the offspring of Mnemosyne, goddess of memory. ForAlcman and Mimnermus, they were even more primordial, springing from the early deities, Uranus and Gaia. Gaia is Mother Earth, an early mother goddess who was worshipped atDelphi from prehistoric times, long before the site was rededicated to Apollo, possibly indicating a transfer to association with him after that time. Pausanias records a tradition of two generations of Muses; the first are the daughters of Uranus and Gaia, the second of Zeus and Mnemosyne. Another, rarer genealogy is that they are daughters of Harmonia (the daughter of Aphrodite and Ares), which contradicts the myth in which they were dancing at the wedding of Harmonia and Cadmus. Compare the Roman inspiring nymphs of springs, the Camenae, the Völva of Norse Mythology and also the apsaras in the mythology of classical India