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Headword: Mousa
Adler number: mu,1291
Translated headword: Muse
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
[Meaning] knowledge.[1] From [the verb] mw= [which means] I seek;[2] for she happens to be the cause of all education.[3] So with good reason the ancients called her Muse. Altogether they are nine: Kleio, Euterpe, Thaleia, Melpomene, Terpsichore, Erato, Polymnia, Ourania, Kalliope. But according to the tradition of the theologians the Muses are many, because learning and education has great variety and is useful for every need.
Greek Original:
Mousa: hê gnôsis. apo tou mô, to zêtô: epeidê hapasês paideias hautê tunchanei aitia. eikotôs oun hoi archaioi Mousan autên ekalesan. eisi de pasai ennea: Kleiô, Euterpê, Thaleia, Melpomenê, Terpsichorê, Eratô, Polumnia, Ourania, Kalliopê. pollas de tas Mousas hupo tôn theologôn paradedosthai, dioti polu to poikilon echei ta mathêmata kai paideumata, kai pros pasan chrêsin oikeion.
Notes:
From ancient comment on the opening of Hesiod's Works and Days: 'Muses of Pieria who give glory through song'. See generally OCD4 s.v. A Roman mosaic floor found in Luxemburg shows Homer and the Muses: web address 1.
[1] From the scholia to Aristophanes, Clouds 313, where the headword appears.
[2] The middle form ma/omai is a dialectal variant of mai/omai meaning "search." There was a theory, promoted by Philoxenos of Alexandria (phi 394), that the Greek vocabulary was based on a core of monosyllabic verbs (like mw=): see Dickey, 3.1.10 (p. 85).
[3] cf. Helladius in Photius, Bibliotheca 531a2, Eustathius I.9.35.
References:
Eleanor Dickey, Ancient Greek Scholarship: A Guide to Finding, Reading, and Understanding Scholia, Commentaries, Lexica, and Grammatical Treatises, from Their Beginnings to the Byzantine Period. American Philological Association Classical Resource Series. New York & Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007
Tomasz Mojsik, Between Tradition and Innovation: genealogy, names and the number of the Muses (Warsaw 2011); reviewed Penelope Murray, BMCR 2012.09.56
Associated internet address:
Web address 1
Keywords: Christianity; comedy; definition; dialects, grammar, and etymology; mythology; poetry; religion
Translated by: Catharine Roth on 1 October 2004@23:57:33.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords; cosmetics) on 3 October 2004@05:28:17.
Catharine Roth (added link) on 8 August 2006@11:50:03.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 9 August 2006@03:02:40.
David Whitehead (added bibliography) on 30 September 2012@04:26:12.
Catharine Roth (augmented note 2 and bibliography) on 3 October 2012@01:40:58.
David Whitehead on 27 May 2013@07:34:49.
David Whitehead on 9 August 2014@09:03:25.
Catharine Roth (cross-reference) on 9 August 2014@16:19:57.

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