Thalia (Muse)

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Roman statue of Thalia from Hadrian's Villa, now at the Prado Museum (Madrid)
Thalia, Muse Of Comedy by Louis-Michel van Loo.

Thalia (/θəˈlə/; Ancient Greek: Θάλεια, Θαλία; "the joyous, the flourishing", from Ancient Greek: θάλλειν, thállein; "to flourish, to be verdant"), also spelled Thaleia, was the goddess who presided over comedy and idyllic poetry. In this context her name means "flourishing", because the praises in her songs flourish through time.[1] She was the daughter of Zeus and Mnemosyne, the eighth-born of the nine Muses.

According to pseudo-Apollodorus, she and Apollo were the parents of the Corybantes.[2] Other ancient sources, however, gave the Corybantes different parents.[3]

She was portrayed as a young woman with a joyous air, crowned with ivy, wearing boots and holding a comic mask in her hand. Many of her statues also hold a bugle and a trumpet (both used to support the actors' voices in ancient comedy), or occasionally a shepherd’s staff or a wreath of ivy.

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Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Theoi Project - Mousa Thaleia
  2. ^ Apollodorus, Bibliotheca, 1.3.4.
  3. ^ Sir James Frazer's note on the passage in the Bibliotheca.

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