Greek Mythology >> Greek Gods >> Olympian Gods >> Muses >> Clio (Kleio)


Greek Name




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Make Famous (kleô)

Muse Clio | Greco-Roman marble statue C2nd A.D. | State Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg
Muse Clio, Greco-Roman marble statue C2nd A.D., State Hermitage Museum

KLEIO (Clio) was one of the nine Mousai (Muses), the goddesses of music, song and dance. In the Classical era, when the Mousai were assigned specific literary and artistic spheres, Kleio was named Muse of history. In this guise she was represented holding an open scroll or seated beside a chest of books. Her name was derived from the Greek verb kleô, "to make famous" or "celebrate."



[1] ZEUS & MNEMOSYNE (Hesiod Theogony 75, Apollodorus 1.13, Diodorus Siculus 4.7.1, Orphic Hymn 76)


[1] HYMENAIOS (Greek Lyric V Licymnius)
[2] HYAKINTHOS (by Pieros) (Apollodorus 1.16)



Hesiod, Theogony 75 ff (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C8th or C7th B.C.) :
"The Mousai (Muses) sang who dwell on Olympos, nine daughters begotten by great Zeus, Kleio (Clio) and Euterpe, Thaleia (Thalia), Melpomene and Terpsikhore (Terpsichore), and Erato and Polymnia (Polyhymnia) and Ourania (Urania) and Kalliope (Calliope)."

Licymnius, Fragment 768A (from Philodemus, On Piety) (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric V) (Greek lyric C5th B.C.) :
"Moreover Kleio (Clio) the Mousa (Muse) fell in love with a man, according to Likymnios (Licymnius), and some think Hymenaios (Hymenaeus) was her son."

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 13 (trans. Aldrich) (Greek mythographer C2nd A.D.) :
"Mnemosyne [bore to Zeus] the Mousai (Muses), the eldest of whom was Kalliope (Calliope), followed by Kleio (Clio), Melpomene, Euterpe, Erato, Terpsikhore (Terpsichore), Ourania (Urania), Thaleia (Thalia), and Polymnia."

Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 16 :
"Aphrodite, furious with Kleio (Clio) (who had chided her for loving Adonis), caused her to fall in love with Magnes' son Pieros (Pierus). As a result of their union she bore him a son Hyakinthos (Hyacinthus)."

Orphic Hymn 76 to the Muses (trans. Taylor) (Greek hymns C3rd B.C. to 2nd A.D.) :
"Daughters of Mnemosyne and Zeus . . . Kleio (Clio), and Erato who charms the sight, with thee, Euterpe, ministering delight : Thalia flourishing, Polymnia famed, Melpomene from skill in music named : Terpsikhore (Terpsichore), Ourania (Urania) heavenly bright."


Virgil and the Muses Clio and Melpomene | Greco-Roman mosaic A.D. | Bardo National Museum, Tunis
Virgil and the Muses Clio and Melpomene, Greco-Roman mosaic A.D., Bardo National Museum

Pindar, Nemean Ode 3. 10 & 82 ff (trans. Conway) (Greek lyric C5th B.C.) :
"Of song grant, of my skill, full measure. Strike, O daughter of the lord of cloud-capped heaven,,chords to his honour; mine to wed them with the youthful voices and with the lyre . . . In your honour then, if high-throned Kleio (Clio) wills, for your proud spirit of conquest."

Simonides, Fragment 577 (from Plutarch) (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric III) (Greek lyric C6th to 5th B.C.) :
"For there was a shrine of the Mousai (Muses) here [south of Apollon's temple at Delphoi (Delphi)] where the spring wells up, and that is why they used this water for libation and lustrations, as Simonides says : ‘where the holy water of the lovely-haired Moisai (Muses) is drawn from below for lustration. Overseer of the holy lustration-water, golden Kleio (Clio), who give the water-drawers from the ambosial cave the fragrant lovely water sought with many prayers.’"

Bacchylides, Fragment 3 (trans. Campbell, Vol. Greek Lyric IV) (Greek lyric C5th B.C.) :
"Sing, Kleio (Clio), giver of sweetness."

Bacchylides, Fragment 12 :
"Like a skilled helmsman, Kleio (Clio), queen of song, steer my thoughts straight now, if ever before."

Bacchylides, Fragment 13 :
"Trusting in it and in the Mousai (Muses) of the crimson headdress I for my part display this gift of songs If it was indeed flowering Kleio (Clio) who made it [the song] drip into my heart, there will be delight in the words of the songs that proclaim him to the people."

Callimachus, Aetia Fragment 43 (trans. Trypanis) (Greek poet C3rd B.C.) :
"And Kleio (Clio) went on to speak yet again, resting her arm upon her sister's shoulder."

Diodorus Siculus, Library of History 4. 7. 1 (trans. Oldfather) (Greek historian C1st B.C.) :
"Hesiod even gives their names [the Mousai's (Muses')] when he writes : ‘Kleio (Clio), Euterpe, and Thaleia (Thalia), Melpomene, Terpsikhore (Terpsichore) and Erato, and Polymnia, Ourania (Urania), Kalliope (Calliope) too, of them all the most comely.’
To each of the Mousai (Muses) men assign her special aptitude for one of the branches of the liberal arts, such as poetry, song, pantomimic dancing, the round dance with music, the study of the stars, and the other liberal arts . . . For the name of each Mousa, they say, men have found a reason appropriate to her . . . Kleio (Clio) is so named because the praise which poets sing in their encomia bestows great glory (kleos) upon those who are praised."

Valerius Flaccus, Argonautica 3. 15 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) :
"Clio . . . to thee, O Muse, has been vouchsafed the power to know the hearts of the gods and the ways by which things come to be."

Statius, Thebaid 10. 630 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) :
"Begin thou, unforgetting Clio, for all the ages are in thy keeping, and all the storied annals of the past."

Thumbnail Virgil, Clio, Melpomene

Z20.5 Virgil, Clio, Melpomene

Greco-Roman Tunis Floor Mosaic A.D.

Thumbnail Portraits of the Nine Muses

Z20.2 Portraits of the Nine Muses

Greco-Roman Cos Floor Mosaic A.D.

Thumbnail Portraits of the Nine Muses

Z20.3 Portraits of the Nine Muses

Greco-Roman Trier Mosaic C3rd A.D.

Thumbnail Symbols of the Nine Muses

Z20.4 Symbols of the Nine Muses

Greek Elis Floor Mosaic C1st B.C.

Thumbnail Statue of Muse Clio

S20.3B Statue of Muse Clio

Greco-Roman Marble Statue C2nd A.D.





Other references not currently quoted here: Tzetzes on Lycophron 831, Scholiast on Hesiod's Words & Days 1.27.


A complete bibliography of the translations quoted on this page.