a goddess of the inspiration of literature, science and the arts
For the British musical group of the same name, see Muse (band).
Or for the fruit called the Euterpe see Açaí palm.

The Muses are goddesses representing different arts and sciences in Greek mythology. They are the daughters of Mnemosyne and Zeus.

The Muses Klio, Euterpe and Thalia, by Eustache Le Sueur

Most commonly the Muses are:

  • Kalliope (or Calliope), the eldest and wisest, the muse of epic poetry, mother of Orpheus
  • Euterpe, the muse of music and lyric poetry. She loved flute playing, and some even say she invented the double flute. Euterpe had a son named Rhesus, who was killed in the battle at Troy, according to Homer's Iliad.
  • Klio (also Kleio or Clio), the muse of history
  • Erato, the muse of lyric/love poetry
  • Melpomene, the muse of tragedy
  • Polyhymnia, the muse of sacred poetry (hymn) and geometry
  • Terpsichore, the muse of dance
  • Thalia, the muse of comedy
  • Urania, the muse of astronomy and astrology

The word muse is also sometimes used for a person who inspires somebody else, or any other type of inspiring object. Muse can also be used to describe one's creative thoughts, such as poetry or a musical composition.