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"Goddess of memory and remembrance
Member of the "Titans
""Mnemosyne (color) Rossetti.jpg
"Mnemosyne (aka Lamp of Memory or Ricordanza) by "Dante Gabriel Rossetti (c. 1876 to 1881)
Abode "Mount Olympus
Personal information
Consorts "Zeus
Parents "Uranus and "Gaia
Roman equivalent "Moneta

Mnemosyne ("/nɪˈmɒzɪni, nɪˈmɒsɪni/; "Greek: Μνημοσύνη, pronounced "[mnɛːmosýːnɛː]) is the "goddess of "memory in "Greek mythology. "Mnemosyne" is derived from the same source as the word "mnemonic, that being the Greek word mnēmē, which means "remembrance, memory".[1][Note 1]



A "Titanide, or Titaness, Mnemosyne was the daughter of the Titans "Uranus and "Gaia. Mnemosyne was the mother of the nine "Muses, fathered by her nephew, "Zeus:


Júpiter y Mnemosine by "Marco Liberi

In "Hesiod’s "Theogony, kings and poets receive their powers of authoritative speech from their possession of Mnemosyne and their special relationship with the Muses.

"Zeus and Mnemosyne "slept together for nine consecutive nights, thus "conceiving the nine "Muses. Mnemosyne also presided over a pool[2] in "Hades, counterpart to the river "Lethe, according to a series of 4th century BC Greek funerary inscriptions in "dactylic hexameter. Dead souls drank from "Lethe so they would not remember their past lives when "reincarnated. In "Orphism, the initiated were taught to instead drink from the Mnemosyne, the river of memory, which would stop the "transmigration of the soul.[3]

Appearance in oral literature[edit]

Jupiter, disguised as a shepherd, tempts Mnemosyne, goddess of memory by Jacob de Wit (1727)

Although she was categorized as one of the "Titans in the "Theogony, Mnemosyne didn’t quite fit that distinction.[4] Titans were hardly worshiped in "Ancient Greece, and were thought of as so archaic as to belong to the ancient past.[4] They resembled historical figures more than anything else. Mnemosyne, on the other hand, traditionally appeared in the first few lines of many oral "epic poems[5]—she appears in both the "Iliad and the "Odyssey, among others—as the speaker called upon her aid in accurately remembering and performing the poem he was about to recite. Mnemosyne is thought to have been given the distinction of “Titan” because "memory was so important and basic to the "oral culture of the Greeks that they deemed her one of the essential building blocks of "civilization in their "creation myth.[5]

Later, once "written literature overtook the oral recitation of epics, "Plato made reference in his "Euthydemus to the older tradition of invoking Mnemosyne. The character "Socrates prepares to recount a story and says “ὥστ᾽ ἔγωγε, καθάπερ οἱ (275d) ποιηταί, δέομαι ἀρχόμενος τῆς διηγήσεως Μούσας τε καὶ Μνημοσύνην ἐπικαλεῖσθαι.” which translates to “Consequently, like the poets, I must needs begin my narrative with an invocation of the "Muses and Memory” (emphasis added).[6] "Aristophanes also harked back to the tradition in his play "Lysistrata when a "drunken "Spartan "ambassador invokes her name while prancing around pretending to be a bard from times of yore.[7]

Cult of Asclepius[edit]

Mnemosyne was one of the "deities worshiped in the "cult of "Asclepius that formed in "Ancient Greece around the 5th century BC.[8] "Asclepius, a "Greek hero and god of "medicine, was said to have been able to cure maladies, and the cult incorporated a multitude of other Greek heroes and gods in its process of healing.[8] The exact order of the "offerings and "prayers varied by location,[9] and the supplicant often made an offering to Mnemosyne.[8] After making an offering to "Asclepius himself, in some locations, one last prayer was said to Mnemosyne as the supplicant moved to the holiest portion of the "asclepeion to "incubate.[8] The hope was that a prayer to Mnemosyne would help the supplicant remember any "visions had while "sleeping there.[9]


Mnemosyne's family tree [10]
"Uranus "Gaia "Pontus
"Oceanus "Tethys "Hyperion "Theia "Crius "Eurybia
The "Rivers The "Oceanids "Helios "Selene [11] "Eos "Astraeus "Pallas "Perses
"Cronus "Rhea "Coeus "Phoebe
"Hestia "Hera "Hades "Zeus "Leto "Asteria
"Demeter "Poseidon
"Iapetus "Clymene (or "Asia[12] MNEMOSYNE (Zeus) "Themis
"Atlas [13] "Menoetius "Prometheus [14] "Epimetheus The "Muses The "Horae

See also[edit]


1.^ Memory and the name Memnon, as in ""Memnon of Rhodes" are etymologically related. Mnemosyne is sometimes confused with "Mneme or compared with "Memoria.


  1. ^ Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert (1940). Jones, Sir Henry Stuart; McKenzie, Roderick, eds. "μνήμη". A Greek-English Lexicon. Oxford: Clarendon Press. Retrieved 2018-01-10. 
  2. ^ "Richard Janko, "Forgetfulness in the Golden Tablets of Memory", Classical Quarterly 34 (1984) 89–100; see article ""Totenpass" for the reconstructed "devotional which instructs the initiated soul through the landscape of "Hades, including the pool of Memory.
  3. ^ "Lethe | Greek mythology". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2017-03-30. 
  4. ^ a b Rose, H.J. (1991). A Handbook of Greek Mythology : including its extension to Rome (6th ed.). London: Taylor and Francis, Inc. "ISBN "9780415046015. 
  5. ^ a b Notopoulos, James A. (1938). "Mnemosyne in Oral Literature". Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association. 69: 466. "doi:10.2307/283194. 
  6. ^ Plato; Burnet, James (1903). Platonis Opera. Oxford University Press. 
  7. ^ "Aristophanes, Lysistrata, line 1247". www.perseus.tufts.edu. 
  8. ^ a b c d Ahearne-Kroll, Stephen P. (April 2014). "Mnemosyne at the Asklepieia". Classical Philology. 109 (2): 99–118. "doi:10.1086/675272. 
  9. ^ a b von Ehrenheim, Hedvig (2011). Greek incubation rituals in Classical and Hellenistic times. Stockholm: Department of Archaeology and Classical Studies, Stockholm University. "ISBN "978-91-7447-335-3. 
  10. ^ "Hesiod, "Theogony 132–138, 337–411, 453–520, 901–906, 915–920; Caldwell, pp. 8–11, tables 11–14.
  11. ^ Although usually the daughter of Hyperion and Theia, as in "Hesiod, "Theogony 371–374, in the "Homeric Hymn to Hermes (4), 99–100, Selene is instead made the daughter of Pallas the son of Megamedes.
  12. ^ According to "Hesiod, "Theogony 507–511, Clymene, one of the "Oceanids, the daughters of "Oceanus and "Tethys, at "Hesiod, "Theogony 351, was the mother by Iapetus of Atlas, Menoetius, Prometheus, and Epimetheus, while according to "Apollodorus, 1.2.3, another Oceanid, Asia was their mother by Iapetus.
  13. ^ According to "Plato, "Critias, 113d–114a, Atlas was the son of "Poseidon and the mortal "Cleito.
  14. ^ In "Aeschylus, "Prometheus Bound 18, 211, 873 (Sommerstein, pp. 444–445 n. 2, 446–447 n. 24, 538–539 n. 113) Prometheus is made to be the son of "Themis.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

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