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Roman statue of Erato, 2nd century AD. The muse is depicted playing the kithara or lyre.

In Greek mythology, Erato (Ἐρατώ) is one of the Greek Muses. The name means "desired" or "lovely", being derived from the same root as Eros, as Apollonius of Rhodes alludes to in Book III of his Argonautica[1].

Erato is the Muse of lyric poetry, especially love and erotic poetry. In the Orphic hymn to the Muses, it is Erato who charms the sight. Since the Renaissance she is often shown with a wreath of myrtle and roses, holding a lyre, or a small kithara, a musical instrument that Apollo or she herself invented. In Simon Vouet's representations (illustration), two turtle-doves are eating seeds at her feet. Other representations may show her holding a golden arrow, reminding one of the "eros", the feeling that she inspires in everybody, and at times she is accompanied by the god Eros, holding a torch.


Erato was named with the other muses in Hesiod's Theogony. She was also invoked at the beginning of a lost poem, Rhadine (Ῥαδινή), that was referred to and briefly quoted by Strabo[2]. The love story of Rhadine made her supposed tomb on the island of Samos a pilgrimage site for star-crossed lovers in the time of Pausanias[3] and Erato was linked again with love in Plato's Phaedrus[4]; nevertheless, even in the third century BCE, when Apollonius wrote, the Muses were not yet as inextricably linked to specific types of poetry as they became[5].

Erato is also invoked at the beginning of Virgil's Aeneid Book 7 (also the beginning of the second half or 'Iliadic' section of the poem). Calliope (epic); even Melpomene (tragedy) or Clio (history) might seem more appropriate. This may express Virgil's love for his native land, but in any case shows the need for a new creative force and a change in the direction of the poem.


  1. ^ Apollonius Rhodius, Argonautica, Book III ll 1-5,
  2. ^ In Geography 8.3.20; Strabo's attribution of the poem to Stesichorus was refuted by H. J. Rose, "Stesichoros and the Rhadine-Fragment", The Classical Quarterly 26.2 (April 1932), pp. 88-92.
  3. ^ Description of Greece 7.5.13.
  4. ^ Phaedrus, 259.
  5. ^ Richard Hunter, editor. Jason and the Golden Fleece (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993), p. 66 note.

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also Erató



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From the Greek meaning lovely.

Proper noun


  1. (Greek mythology) The Muse of lyric poetry, particularly of love and eroticism.




Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikispecies


Classification System: APG II (down to family level)

Main Page
Cladus: Eukaryota
Regnum: Plantae
Cladus: Angiospermae
Cladus: Eudicots
Cladus: core eudicots
Cladus: Asterids
Cladus: Euasterids II
Ordo: Asterales
Familia: Asteraceae
Subfamilia: Cichorioideae
Tribus: Liabeae
Genus: Erato
Species: E. polymnioides


Erato DC.

Simple English

Redirecting to Muse


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