Being an Account of Her Influence on the Art, in Ancient as well as Modern Times; A Summary of Her Musical Compositions, in the Different Countries of the Civilized World; and an Estimate of Their Rank in Comparison with Those of Men
Foremost among the patrons of the art in Grecian mythology are the Muses. These were not always nine in number. Originally, at Mount Helicon, in B[oe]otia, three were worshipped,--Melete (meditation), Mneme (memory), and Aoide (song). Three Muses were also recognized at Delphi and Sicyon. Four are mentioned as daughters of Jupiter and Plusia, while some accounts speak of seven Muses, daughters of Pierus. Eight was the number known in Athens, until finally the Thracian worship of nine spread over the whole of Greece. The parentage of these divinities is given with as many variations as their number. Most commonly they were considered daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne (memory), born in Pieria at the foot of Mount Olympus. Some call them daughters of Uranus and Gæa, others of Pierus and Antiope, still others of Apollo or of Jupiter and Minerva. The analogy between the Muses and the nine maidens in the Egyptian troupe of Osiris has already been noted.
In Homer's poems, the Muses have a