In Greek mythology, Calliope ( ; Καλλιόπη , Kalliopē "beautiful-voiced") is the Muse who presides over eloquence and epic poetry; so called from the ecstatic harmony of her voice. Hesiod and Ovid called her the "Chief of all Muses".
MythologyCalliope had two famous sons, Orpheus and Linus, by either Apollo or King Oeagrus of Thrace. She taught Orpheus verses for singing. According to Hesiod, she was also the wisest of the Muses, as well as the most assertive. Calliope married Oeagrus in Pimpleia, a town near Mount Olympus. She is said to have defeated the daughters of Pierus, king of Thessaly, in a singing match, and then, to punish their presumption, turned them into magpies.
In some accounts, Calliope is the mother of the Corybantes by her father Zeus.
She was sometimes believed to be Homer's muse for the Iliad and the Odyssey. The Roman epic poet, Virgil, invokes her in the Aeneid (9.525). In some cases, she is said to be the Mother of sirens.
DepictionsCalliope is usually shown with a writing tablet in her hand. At times, she is depicted carrying a roll of paper or a book, or wearing a gold crown. She is also depicted with her children.
The Italian poet Dante Alighieri, in his Divine Comedy, refers to Calliope: