Καλλιὀπη

Kalliope
Καλλιὀπη (Kal·yō´·pā) [meaning: “Beautiful Voice”]

Kalliope is the eldest of the Muses, the nine daughters of Zeus and the Titan Mnemosyne, whose name means ‘memory’.

Chief of the Muses, she is the patron of epic poetry. She is the wisest, as well as the most assertive. More stories are told of Kalliope than of any of her sisters.

Kalliope had two famous sons, Orpheus and Linus, by King Oeagrus of Thrace, whom she married close to Pimpleia, Olympus. She taught Orpheus verses for singing.

Kalliope was also, for a time, the lover of the war-god Ares, and bore him several sons: Mygdon, Edonus, Biston, and Odomantus, respectively the founders of Thracian tribes known as the Mygdones, Edones, Bistones, and Odomantes.

She was the arbiter in the dispute between Aphrodite and Persephone over Adonis. Kalliope decided that Adonis should spend half of the year with Aphrodite and the other half with Persephone. But the goddess of love was not satisfied with this arrangement, so she made the Thracian women kill Kalliope’s son, Orpheus.

Kalliope was Homer’s Muse, inspiring both the Iliad and the Odyssey. She is rumored to be his real mother. She inspired Achilles to write bawdy drinking songs.

Kalliope bore two children to ApolloHymen, the god of marriage, and Ialemus, the god of sad songs. She was also the mother of the Korybantes (by Zeus, her father), and the Sirens, among others.

At the base of Mount Helicon in Greece are two springs sacred to the Muses: the Aganippe and the Hippocrene, both created by the hooves of Pegasus. They have been a place of pilgrimage for those seeking inspiration since ancient times.

It is said that in the music of those fountains one can hear Kalliope singing.

Gideon Jagged
Toronto, January 12013 H.E.
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