Polyhymnia

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Roman statue of Polyhymnia, 2nd century AD, depicting her in the act of dancing.
Cast of Polyhymnia, Pushkin Museum, Moscow

Polyhymnia (/pɒliˈhɪmniə/; Greek: Πολυύμνια; "the one of many hymns"), also spelt Polymnia (Πολύμνια) was in Greek mythology the Muse of sacred poetry, sacred hymn, dance, and eloquence as well as agriculture and pantomime. Her name name comes from the Greek words "poly" meaning "many" and "hymnos", which means "praise".[1] She is depicted as very serious, pensive and meditative, and often holding a finger to her mouth, dressed in a long cloak and veil and resting her elbow on a pillar. Polyhymnia is also sometimes credited as being the Muse of geometry and meditation.[2]

In Bibliotheca historica, Diodorus Siculus wrote, "Polyhymnia, because by her great (polle) praises (humnesis) she brings distinction to writers whose works have won for them immortal fame...".[3] She appears in Dante's Divine Comedy: Paradiso. Canto XXIII, line 56, and is referenced in modern works of fiction.

She was the mother of the hero Orpheus and Linus, both by Oeagrus. Although in some myths Apollo was the father of Linus, Polyhymnia was always the mother.

Polyhymnia in Astrology[edit]

In astrology, there are nine asteroids, each one named after a different Muse. This specific one is an asteroid belt discovered by Jean Chacornac, a French astrologer, in 1854.[2]

Depiction in arts[edit]

Dedications[edit]

On Mount Parnassus, there was a spring that was sacred to Polyhymnia and the other Muses. It was said to flow in-between two big rocks above Delphi, then down into a large square basin, where it sat until the Pythia, who were priests and priestesses, used it for their oracular things, such as fortelling the future, among others.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Polyhymnia". theoi. Retrieved 2016-09-12. 
  2. ^ a b c "Polyhymnia". talesbeyondbelief. Retrieved 2016-09-12. 
  3. ^ Diodorus Siculus Library of History (Books III - VIII). Translated by Oldfather, C. H. Loeb Classical Library Volumes 303 and 340. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1935.

External links[edit]