In Greek mythology, Calliope was the most honored of the nine Muses, sister goddesses who were patrons of the arts and sciences. Calliope, the leader of the Muses, was the patron of the epic. Sculptors usually portrayed her holding writing implements such as a stylus—a pointed instrument for engraving on a clay or wax tablet—and a tablet.

patron special guardian, protector, or supporter

epic long poem about legendary or historical heroes, written in a grand style

Calliope's name meant "fair voice," and she was said to have been the mother of Orpheus, a legendary musician of superb skill. Ironically, in the 1800s, a rather harsh-sounding musical instrument in which a keyboard operated a series of steam whistles was called a calliope.

See also Muses ; Orpheus .

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