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Roman statue of Polyhymnia, 2nd century AD, depicting her in the act of dancing.

Polyhymnia (; Greek: , lit.'the one of many hymns'), alternatively Polymnia () was in Greek mythology the Muse of sacred poetry, sacred hymn, dance, and eloquence as well as agriculture and pantomime.


Polyhymnia name comes from the Greek words "poly" meaning "many" and "hymnos", which means "praise".[1]


Polymnia is depicted as very serious, pensive and meditative, and often holding a finger to her mouth, dressed in a long cloak and veil and resting her elbow on a pillar. Polyhymnia is also sometimes credited as being the Muse of geometry and meditation.[2]

In Bibliotheca historica, Diodorus Siculus wrote, "Polyhymnia, because by her great (polle) praises (humnesis) she brings distinction to writers whose works have won for them immortal fame...".[3]


As one of the Muses, Polyhymnia was the daughter of Zeus and the Titaness Mnemosyne. She was also described as the mother of Triptolemus by Cheimarrhoos, son of Ares,[4] and of the musician Orpheus by Apollo.[5]


On Mount Parnassus, there was a spring that was sacred to Polyhymnia and the other Muses. It was said to flow between two big rocks above Delphi, then down into a large square basin. The water was used by the Pythia, who were priests and priestesses, for oracular purposes including divination.[2]

In popular culture

  • In astronomy, there are nine asteroids named after the Muses. The one named after Polyhymnia is a main belt asteroid discovered by Jean Chacornac, a French astronomer, in 1854.[2]
  • Polymnia appears in Dante's Divine Comedy: Paradiso. Canto XXIII, line 56, and is referenced in modern works of fiction.



  1. ^ "Polyhymnia". theoi. Retrieved .
  2. ^ a b c "Polyhymnia". talesbeyondbelief. Retrieved .
  3. ^ Diodorus Siculus Library of History (Books III - VIII). Translated by Oldfather, C. H. Loeb Classical Library Volumes 303 and 340. Cambridge, MA, Harvard University Press; London, William Heinemann Ltd. 1935.
  4. ^ Scholia on Hesiod, Works and Days, 1, p. 28
  5. ^ Scholia on Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica 1.23


External links

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