Sunday, October 18, 2009
So You Know...
In Greek mythology, Erato is one of the Greek Muses. The name means "desired" or "lovely", being derived from the same root as Eros, as Apollonius of Rhodes alludes to in Book III of his Argonautica.
Erato is the Muse of lyric poetry, especially love and erotic poetry. In the Orphic hymn to the Muses, it is Erato who charms the sight. Since the Renaissance she is often shown with a wreath of myrtle and roses, holding a lyre, or a small kithara, a musical instrument that Apollo or she herself invented. In Simon Vouet's representations, two turtle-doves are eating seeds at her feet. Other representations may show her holding a golden arrow, reminding one of the "eros", the feeling that she inspires in everybody, and at times she is accompanied by the god Eros, holding a torch.