Mnemosyne in Greek Mythology
The name of this female Titan means "memory". Her main role in Greek mythology is as the mother of the Muses
- nine daughters who each represented aspects of the arts and humanities. According to the legend, Zeus
, the ruler of the Olympian gods and goddesses, had an affair with the Titan Mnemosyne, the result of which was the birth of the Muses.
The ancient Greek poet Hesiod mentions Mnemosyne in his Theogony:
"Mnemosyne, mistress of Eleutherian hills,
lay with father Zeus and in Pieria gave birth to the Muses
who soothe men's troubles and make them forget their sorrows."
(Hesiod, Theogony, 53-55)
A contemporary invocation of Mnemosyne can be found in a novel that was published in 1990:
"Help me Mnemosyne, thou Titaness
Mnemosyne in Art History
Thou ancient one, daughter of Heaven and Earth,
Mother of the Muses, who inhabit not
In flowery mount or crystal spring, but in
The dark and confin'd cavern of the skull -
O Memory, who holds the thread that links
My modern mind to those of ancient days"
- A.S. Byatt, Possession
| For pictures and information about Mnemosyne in art, visit the gallery!
Who's Who in Classical Mythology
This book is a great source for information about Greek and Roman mythology! Organized alphabetically, this who's who features information about over 1200 of the most intriguing characters from Classical myth and legend.
The stories of Classical myth come to life in Bulfinch's book. This edition also features legends from other cultures.
Do you have a specific question about Greek, Roman, and Celtic mythology? Then try the Mythography forum!