Brill’s New Pauly

Get access
Search Results: | 6 of 8 |

Muse, invocation of the
(739 words)

[German version]

Both Homeric epics (Homer) begin with an invocation of the Muse: The request, expressed in the imperative, calls for support in dealing with the theme at hand [1]. In formal terms, this is a special type of prayer, an invocatio, but without reference to earlier accomplishments or a promise of a gift in return (common in the prayer or hymn style), which shows a high degree of intimacy between mortal and deity [2]. One might conclude from formulations like Hom. Il. 1,1 or Hom. Od. 1,10 that the poet was acting only as a mouthpiece for the Muse. But he also sings of his own acco…

Cite this page
Schmitzer, Ulrich (Berlin), “Muse, invocation of the”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 01 December 2021 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

▲   Back to top   ▲