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From the Heliconian Muses let us begin to sing
who hold the great and holy mount of Helicon, and
dance on soft feet about the deep-blue spring and
the altar of the almighty son of Cronos,

and, when they have washed their tender bodies in
Permessus, or in the Horse’s Spring of Olmeius, make
their fair, lovely dances upon highest Helicon and
move with vigorous feet. Hesiod Theogony

Helicon (or Helikon) is the name of a mountain in the region of Thespiae in Boeotia, Greece (Kerenyi 1951 p 172), made famous in Greek mythology because two springs sacred to the Muses were located here: the Aganippe and the Hippocrene. In the late 7th century BC, the poet Hesiod sang how in his youth he had pastured his sheep on the slopes of Helicon (Theogony, 23), where Eros and the Muses already had sanctuaries and a dancing-ground near the summit. where "their pounding feet awaken desire" (Hesiod, 8). There the Muses inspired him and he began to sing of the origins of the gods, Thus Helicon became an emblem of poetical inspiration. Hesiod mentions other springs that were the haunt of the Muses: "They bathe their lithe bodies in the water of Permessos or of Hippocrene or of god-haunted Olmeios". On Helicon too was the spring where Narcissus was inspired by his own beauty.

Mt. Helicon from Osios Loukas

Quick Time Virtual Reality: Helicon (Valley of the Muses)

Helicon moon crater


Gods of the Greeks, Carl Kerenyi

Greek Mythology

See also : Greek Mythology. Paintings, Drawings

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