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In Greco-Roman religion and myth, any of a group of sister goddesses, daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne (Memory). A festival was held in their honour every four years near Mount Helicon, the centre of their cult in Greece. They probably began as the patron goddesses of poets, though later their range was extended to include all the liberal arts and sciences. Nine Muses are usually named: Calliope (heroic or epic poetry), Clio (history), Erato (lyric or love poetry), Euterpe (music or flutes), Melpomene (tragedy), Polyhymnia (sacred poetry or mime), Terpsichore (dancing and choral song), Thalia (comedy), and Urania (astronomy).
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Muse, visit Britannica.com.
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