All of the ancient writers appealed to the Muses before beginning their work. Homer asked the Muses in the Iliad and in the Odyssey to help him to tell his story in the most proper way. Even today, the Muses are symbols of inspiration and artistic creation. The nine Muses are Clio, Euterpe, Thalia, Melpomeni, Terpsichore, Erato, Polymnia, Ourania and Calliope.
For now, we will concentrate on the Muse Polymnia, also known as Polyhymnia. She was one of the nine Mousai, the goddesses of music, song and dance. Polymnia was named Muse of religious hymns. Her name actually means Many Praises or Many Hymns.
Polymnia is usually depicted looking up to the sky pensively, holding a lyre and conservatively wrapped in a robe. In fact, it is believed that she invented the lyre. Because of her great praises, she brings distinction to writers whose works have achieved for them immortal fame.
Polymnia, or Polyhymnia, was one of the sister goddesses whose father was Zeus and whose mother was Mnemosyne, which means memory. They were born in Pieria, at the foot of Mount Olympus, and resided on Mount Olympus all of their days.
Polymnia is said to be the mother of Orpheus through her relationship with Oeagrus. In some legends, Polymnia is the mother of Triptolemus, the first priest of Demeter and the inventor of agriculture. She was the first to state that the month of May was named for the goddess Majesta.
Polymnia is also given credit for being the Muse of geometry, of grammar and of meditation. Her specialty of course is religious hymns and sacred poetry. Eloquence, agriculture and pantomime have also been ascribed to her.
Because of her connection with the lyre, Polymnia is the inspiration of lyric poets everywhere. If you aspire to write poetry or sacred music, you may call on the Muse Polymnia to jump start your creative powers.