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The Muses



In “Revenge”, a tale in The Deadliest Deceptions about the bizarre deaths of two cousins, Miriam goes to Alexandria’s renowned medical school to consult with Professor Jason, the medical examiner and lecturer there. Meeting him on the campus, she follows him to his office:

 

As we threaded our way along a tree-lined arcade, I peered into the surrounding park, its botanical gardens and ornamental pool with the statue of the Muses. Soon enough, we reached a sweep of steps to a narrow but symmetric building tucked between the scholars’ dormitory and refectory. Passing through its hallways flanked by vivisection laboratories that exuded a faint fecal odor and storerooms that shelved flasks of every shape and size, he stopped at a rude plank door. He unlocked the door and ushered me in.

 

According to Classical mythology, the Nine Muses are the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, the personification of memory. The ancient Greeks and Romans believed that these goddesses granted inspiration to those involved in creative work. Accordingly, the Muses were considered the source of the knowledge embodied in the poetry, lyric songs, and myths related orally for centuries in ancient Greek culture.


In modern figurative usage, a muse is a literal person or supernatural force that serves as someone's source of artistic inspiration. Our word “museum” is derived from the Muses because it was seen as a place where the Muses were worshipped.


In honor of Mnemosyne, I hope you will remember to check out The Deadliest Deceptions and find out more about the bizarre deaths of those two cousins. Just click here.

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