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The Muses are a group of goddesses who were thought to be the source of knowledge of literature, arts, and science in Greek and Roman mythologies.


Regarded as the nine daughters of the Greek god Zeus and the goddess Mnemosyne,[1] in the 1st century BCE Egypt the Muses were said to have been recruited by the Egyptian god Osiris. Their names were Kalliope, Kleio, Euterpe, Erato, Melpomene, Polyhymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia and Urania.[2]


The Mouseion of Alexandria was an institution commissioned by Ptolemy I Soter and dedicated to the Muses.[3] During the Peloponnesian War, the Spartan misthios Kassandra visited the sanctuary dedicated to the Muses in the Reborn Hills of Boeotia, Greece.[4]

Colloquially the term muse has come to mean anyone or anything that inspires one's work and is, as such, used as a compliment.[5] This has been the habit at least ever since the 1st century BCE, when Phanos the Younger mentioned to the Medjay Bayek of Siwa how his home was "the perfect place for artist and muse to meet!"[6] A little later, Bayek investigated murders in Cyrene, and a note on one of the bodies specifically named the muse Melpomene.[7]