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Lyre-playing Muse seated on a rock labeled ΗΛΙΚΟΝ, Helicon ("Attic "white-ground "lekythos, 440–430 BC )

The Valley of the Muses was the site of an ancient Greek sanctuary to the Muses and the Mouseia festivals held in their honor. It is an open-air historical site open permanently to the public. It is located at "Thespies on the eastern slopes of "Mount Helicon in "Boeotia, Greece.

Contents

History[edit]

The recorded history of the valley began in the 6th century BC. Its greatest period started in the 3rd century BC with the establishment of the Mouseia festivals (Grk Μουσεῖα), organised every fifth year by the "Thespians. Poets and musicians from all over "Greece participated in various games. In the 2nd and 1st centuries BC, games in honor of the Roman emperor were added. From that time the emperors sponsored the festivals, which were then called "Great Kaisareia" (Grk Μεγάλα Καισάρεια) because the emperor was honored over the "Muses. Winners of the games dedicated their tripods to a sanctuary. Many statues depicting the Muses, famous poets, and musicians stood in the open-air space of the Valley. With the rise of "monotheism, the festivals and the valley were abandoned.

Archaeology[edit]

In 1882, Stamatakis made the first test trench in the little church of Ayia Triada and noted the rectangular foundation of a small "temple of the Muses. He also indicated the remains of the theatre on the mountain slope. The French Archaeological School under Jamot excavated systematically in 1888, 1889 and 1890, and discovered all the antiquities (G. Roux, Le Val des Muses et les Musees chez les auteurs anciens, in Bulletin de Correspondance Hellenique, 1954, 1, pp. 22–48).

The sanctuary[edit]

The Sanctuary consisted of:

See also[edit]

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