Overall, in Greek mythology, Terpsichore (Τερψιχόρη, "delight in dancing") is one of the nine Muses and goddess of dance and chorus.

She lends her name to the word "terpsichorean" which means "of or relating to dance". She is usually depicted sitting down, holding a lyre, accompanying the dancers' choirs with her music.

Her name comes from the Greek words τέρπω ("delight") and χoρός ("dance"). She was also said to be the mother of the Sirens and Parthenope by Achelous. In some accounts, she bore the Thracian king Biston by Ares.

Thus, with her lyre in hand, Terpsichore would provide the music for choral dancers.

Terpsichore as a Mother

The legendary musician Linus is said to be a son of Terpsichore, according the Theban poet Pindar. This parentage is also given in the Suda, the Byzantine era encyclopedia once attributed to an author called Soudas.

The parentage of Linus though is not agreed upon, and a number of the other muses, including Calliope and Ourania are said to be the musician's mother.

​In a similar vein, Terpsichore is said to be the mother of the Sirens, the sea-nymphs who were infamous for luring unwary sailors to their deaths.

Terpsichore, according to both Nonnus and Apollonius Rhodius partnered with the river god Achelous to produce these sea-nymphs, but other prominent writers, including Hyginus, named the mother of the Sirens, not Terpsichore, but her sister Melpomene.



Hesiod, Theogony - Greek Epic C8th - 7th B.C.
Pindar, Odes - Greek Lyric C5th B.C.
Pindar, Fragments - Greek Lyric C5th B.C.
Greek Lyric IV Corinna, Fragments - Greek Lyric C5th B.C.
Plato, Phaedrus - Greek Philosophy C4th B.C.
Apollodorus, The Library - Greek Mythography C2nd A.D.
Apollonius Rhodius, The Argonautica - Greek Epic C3rd B.C.
Diodorus Siculus, The Library of History - Greek History C1st B.C.
The Orphic Hymns - Greek Hymns C3rd B.C. - C2nd A.D.
Nonnus, Dionysiaca - Greek Epic C5th A.D.


Suidas, The Suda - Byzantine Greek Lexicon C10th A.D.

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