Greek goddess Calliope had a way with words. In fact, she was so eloquent and poetic that she was highly regarded by Hesiod and Ovid. Of all the muses, she was considered the “Chief”.
In modern times, you’ll see the goddess depicted as a fine writer with a tablet, roll of paper or book in hand. Occasionally, her role of a mother is emphasized as she is shown with her children. Other artists draw and paint her with a gold crown on her head.
As the oldest of the muses, she had influence. People with creative talents called upon her to help inspire and guide their work which she did regularly. When she wasn’t busy falling in love, she was overseeing music, song, and dance.
Literature Said to Be Inspired by Calliope
Calliope inspired and was referred to in many famous works of literature. It is said that she was the muse for the Iliad and the Odyssey. Although it is not known to be verified, many people believe she is what inspired Homer’s work.
The Greek goddess is also said to be a part of Virgil’s poetry, too. In the Aeneid, she is invoked. Calliope is also referred to in Dante’s Divine Comedy where dead poetry is given new life thanks to the goddess and her abilities to inspire.
Artwork Featuring the Greek Goddess Can Be Found on Pottery in Italy
The goddess inspired artwork, too. Her image is on the Francois Vase, a beautiful work of art created by the potter Ergotimos in 570 BCE. It resides in the Museo Archeologico in Florence, Italy where it is seen and appreciated by new generations of creative people.
Calliope’s Love Life and Family Life
Calliope had children with King Oeagrus of Thrace and loved by the god Apollo. She had one son, Orpheus, with the king and two sons with the latter. They were named Hymen and Ialemus.
The bard Orpheus is the most famous child of the Greek muse. He was murdered by Bacchantes, and Calliope was devastated. The island of Lesbos was dedicated to her son, who has also been mentioned in literature throughout centuries.
Calliope is said to have had a relationship with Achilles. She taught him how to sing which encouraged rowdiness while he drank. When you hear about an Achilles’ heel, it refers to the arrow shot by Trojan Paris that brought down the legendary mortal.
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