AskDefine | Define Erato

Dictionary Definition

Erato n : (Greek mythology) the Muse of lyric and love poetry

User Contributed Dictionary



From the Greek meaning lovely.

Proper noun

  1. The Muse of lyric poetry, particularly of love and eroticism.

Extensive Definition

In Greek mythology, Erato is one of the Greek Muses. The name would mean "lovely" if derived from Eros, as Apollonius of Rhodes playfully suggested in the invocation to Erato that begins Book III of his Argonautica. Erato was named with the other muses in Hesiod's Theogony. She was invoked at the beginning of a lost poem, Rhadine, that was referred to and briefly quoted by Strabo. 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 and Erato was linked again with love in Plato's Phaedrus; 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.
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 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.
With Arcas, she had one son named Azan.


External links

Erato in Arabic: إراتو
Erato in Bosnian: Erato (muza)
Erato in Breton: Erato
Erato in Bulgarian: Ерато
Erato in Catalan: Èrato
Erato in Czech: Erató
Erato in Danish: Erato
Erato in German: Erato
Erato in Estonian: Erato
Erato in Modern Greek (1453-): Ερατώ
Erato in Spanish: Erato
Erato in Esperanto: Erato
Erato in Persian: اراتو
Erato in French: Érato (Muse)
Erato in Korean: 에라토
Erato in Croatian: Erato
Erato in Italian: Erato
Erato in Hebrew: אראטו
Erato in Latin: Erato
Erato in Luxembourgish: Erato
Erato in Lithuanian: Erata
Erato in Ligurian: Eràto
Erato in Hungarian: Erató
Erato in Dutch: Erato
Erato in Japanese: エラトー
Erato in Norwegian: Erato
Erato in Polish: Erato
Erato in Portuguese: Erato
Erato in Romanian: Erato
Erato in Russian: Эрато
Erato in Slovak: Erato (múza)
Erato in Slovenian: Erato
Erato in Serbian: Ерато
Erato in Serbo-Croatian: Erato
Erato in Finnish: Erato
Erato in Swedish: Erato
Erato in Turkish: Erato
Erato in Ukrainian: Ерато
Erato in Chinese: 厄剌托

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Apollo, Apollo Musagetes, Bragi, Calliope, Castilian Spring, Clio, Euterpe, Helicon, Hippocrene, Melpomene, Muse, Orpheus, Parnassus, Pierian Spring, Pierides, Polyhymnia, Polymnia, Terpsichore, Thalia, afflatus, artistic imagination, conception, creative imagination, creative power, creative thought, esemplastic imagination, esemplastic power, fire of genius, genius, inspiration, muse, mythicization, mythification, mythopoeia, poesy, poetic genius, poetic imagination, sacred Nine, shaping imagination, the Muses, the Nine, tuneful Nine
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