Momus was the god of many things including satire, mockery, poets, writers, blame, and criticism. His constant mockery of the Olympians eventually resulted in his exile from Mount Olympus by order of Zeus. Momus is said to be the son of Nyx (Night) and Erebus (Darkness). He is also the twin of Oizys, the misery goddess.
• It was Momus’s goal to find fault in anything and everything so that he could ridicule it. When Prometheus made mankind, Momus criticized him for not creating a door in man’s chest so that his thoughts could be seen and dishonesty could be prevented.
• Athena was mocked by Momus for having built a home without wheels because it could not be relocated away from unwanted neighbors.
• Momus criticized Poseidon’s handiwork when he built a bull because Momus believed it should have eyes in its horn to make it gore more effectively.
• Some believe that Aphrodite annoyed Momus because he could find nothing to criticize in her perfect form. Other literary sources though say that Momus criticized her for having creaky sandals and for talking too much.
• Momus even had the audacity to mock the king of the gods, Zeus, for being violent and for lusting after so many women. Zeus would eventually be the one to banish Momus from Mount Olympus.
• Momus is typically depicted as a man lifting a mask from his face. In more modern art, he is depicted as a fool or king’s jester.
• Two of Aesop’s fables feature Momus as a character.
• Momus also is to blame for Zeus’s decision to start the Trojan war as a way of reducing the population.
• Being from the realm of the Underworld, Momus also has a dark side. He would often instill in men feelings of failure in regards to new ideas or new ventures.
• Oizys, Momus’s twin, was a misery goddess. She was known for being the goddess of anxiety, worry, and distress. She played a part in inciting many wars, feuds, and disputes.
• Greek tragedian Sophocles wrote a satyr play called Momus. Satyr plays were tragicomedies with choruses of satyrs. The plays were often full of drunkenness, sexuality, sight gags, and other forms of merriment. The play itself is now almost entirely lost.
• Momus is associated with writers and poets because he is also known as the god of censure and the god of satire. Censure means harsh criticism, strong disapproval, or strong condemnation, explaining its connection to Momus.
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