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Helicon is the name of a mountain in the region of Thespiai in Boeotia, Greece (Kerenyi 1951 p 172), made famous in Greek mythology because two springs sacred to the Muses were located here: the Aganippe and the Hippocrene. In the late 7th century BC, the poet Hesiod sang how in his youth he had pastured his sheep on the slopes of Helicon (Theogony, 23), where Eros and the Muses already had sanctuaries and a dancing-ground near the summit. where "their pounding feet awaken desire" (Hesiod, 8). There the Muses inspired him and he began to sing of the origins of the gods, Thus Helicon became an emblem of poetical inspiration. Hesiod mentions other springs that were the haunt of the Muses: "They bathe their lithe bodies in the water of Permessos or of Hippocrene or of god-haunted Olmeios". On Helicon too was the spring where Narcissus was inspired by his own beauty.

Helicon was the inspiration for the balls held by Hungarian composer LeĆ³ Festetics at his castle near Keszthely. Festetics also named the library he founded Helikon Library, promoting literacy and culture in his home city.


  • Kerenyi, Karl, 1951. The Gods of the Greeks

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