Polyhymnia (//; 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. 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.
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...". She appears in Dante's Divine Comedy: Paradiso. Canto XXIII, line 56, and is referenced in modern works of fiction.
Depiction in arts
- 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.
- Media related to Polyhymnia at Wikimedia Commons
- Primary sources and basic information concerning Polyhymnia
- Polyhymnia in painting
- Warburg Institute Iconographic Database (ca 50 images of Polyhymnia)
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