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Mnemosyne is the goddess of memory and language, and is often depicted holding a lamp of knowledge.

Mnemosyne was the daughter of Uranus and Gaea, but she is not typically seen as one of the children who helped Cronos overthrow their father. She was the goddess of memory and language, and was credited with inventing words and memorization to preserve history.

She was thought to be the mother of the nine Muses, goddesses of music, dance, and poetry, through an affair with Zeus. Mnemosyne was an important goddess to invoke for poets like Homer before reciting long epics such as The Iliad or The Odyssey. The Greeks valued their oral tradition above many other things, and considered the recitation of an epic poem to be one of the highest forms of art and entertainment.

Sometimes Mnemosyne was depicted as the incarnation of Memory. In these cases, she usually is carrying a lamp of knowledge and learning.

Quick Reference

Parents

Uranus and Gaea


Domain / Power

Goddess of Memory


Notable Myths

  • Mother of the Nine Muses
  • Greek Oral Tradition

Symbol / Attributes

Lamp

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