In Greek mythology, Clio (traditionally /ˈkl/,[2] but now more frequently /ˈkl/; Greek: Κλειώ), also spelled Kleio,[3] is the muse of history,[4] or in a few mythological accounts, the muse of lyre playing.[5]

Goddess of history and lyre playing
Member of The Muses
Palestra grande di pompei, affreschi di Moregine, primo triclinio , IV stile, epoca neroniana, le muse 03 clio.jpg
Clio on an antique fresco from Pompeii
AbodeMount Olympus
SymbolsScrolls, books
Personal information
ParentsZeus and Mnemosyne
SiblingsEuterpe, Polyhymnia, Urania, Calliope, Erato, Thalia, Terpsichore, Melpomene, Aeacus, Angelos, Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Athena, Dionysus, Eileithyia, Enyo, Eris, Ersa, Hebe, Helen, Hephaestus, Heracles, Hermes, Minos, Pandia, Persephone, Perseus, Rhadamanthus, the Graces, the Horae, the Litae, the Moirai
ChildrenHymenaeus, Hyacinthus
Print of Clio, made in the 16th–17th century. Preserved in the Ghent University Library.[1]


Clio's name is etymologically derived from the Greek root κλέω/κλείω (meaning "to recount", "to make famous" or "to celebrate").[6][7][8] The name's traditional Latinisation is Clio,[9] but some modern systems such as the American Library Association-Library of Congress system use K to represent the original Greek kappa, and ei to represent the diphthong ει (epsilon iota), thus Kleio.


Clio, sometimes referred to as "the Proclaimer", is often represented with an open parchment scroll, a book, or a set of tablets.[citation needed] She is also shown with the heroic trumpet and the clepsydra (water clock).[10] Cesere Ripa's Iconologia, an important source book for artists of the Baroque period, stated that Clio should be depicted with a crown of laurels, a trumpet and an open book.[11]


Like all the muses, Clio is a daughter of Zeus and the Titaness Mnemosyne, goddess of memory. Along with her sister Muses, she is considered to dwell at either Mount Helicon or Mount Parnassos.[4] Other common locations for the Muses are Pieria in Thessaly, near to Mount Olympus.[5]

She had one son, Hyacinth, with one of several kings, in various myths—with Pierus or with king Oebalus of Sparta, or with king Amyclas,[12][13] progenitor of the people of Amyclae, dwellers about Sparta. Some sources say she is also the mother of Hymenaios.[citation needed] According to Apollodorus, Clio was made to fall in love with Pierus by Aphrodite, for Clio had derided her for her love affair with Adonis.[14] Other accounts credit her as the mother of Linus, a poet who was buried at Argos, although Linus has a number of differing parents depending upon the account, including several accounts in which he is the son of Clio's sisters Urania or Calliope.[15]


In her capacity as "the proclaimer, glorifier and celebrator of history, great deeds and accomplishments,"[16]

Clio is used in the name of various modern brands, including the Clio Awards for excellence in advertising. The Cambridge University History Society is informally referred to as Clio; the Cleo of Alpha Chi society at Trinity College, Connecticut is named after the muse. Likewise, the undergraduate student outreach group for the Penn Museum at the University of Pennsylvania is known as the Clio Society and Geneseo College’s oldest society is 'Clio'. 'Clio' also represents history in some coined words in academic usage: cliometrics, cliodynamics.

Clio Bay in Antarctica is named after the muse.


See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Clio". Retrieved 2020-09-28.
  2. ^ Avery, Catherine B., ed. (1962). New Century Classical Handbook. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts. p. 304.
  3. ^ Harvey, Paul (1984). "Clio/Kleio". The Oxford Companion to Classical Literature (Revised 1984 ed.). Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 110. ISBN 0-19-281490-7.
  4. ^ a b Leeming, David (2005). "Muses". The Oxford Companion to World Mythology. Oxford University Press. p. 274. ISBN 978-0-19-515669-0.
  5. ^ a b Morford, Mark P. O.; Lenardon, Robert J. (1971). Classical Mythology. New York: David McKay Company. pp. 56–57. ISBN 0-679-30028-7.
  6. ^ D. S. Levene, Damien P. Nelis (2002). Clio and the Poets: Augustan Poetry and the Traditions of Ancient Historiography. Brill Academic Publishers. ISBN 90-04-11782-2.
  7. ^ Κλειώ. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project
  8. ^ κλειώ. Liddell, Henry George; Scott, Robert; A Greek–English Lexicon at the Perseus Project
  9. ^ Lewis and Short, A Latin Dictionary: Founded on Andrews' Edition of Freund's Latin Dictionary: Revised, Enlarged, and in Great Part Rewritten by Charlton T. Lewis, Ph.D. and Charles Short, LL.D. The Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1879, s.v.
  10. ^ "Clio, Greek Muse". Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved 6 May 2023.
  11. ^ Ripa, Cesare (1611). Iconologia (in Italian).
  12. ^ Apollodorus, 3.10.3
  13. ^ Pausanias, 3.1.3 & 3.19.4
  14. ^ Apollodorus, 1.3.3
  15. ^ Graves, Robert (1960). The Greek Myths. Vol. 2 (1960 revised ed.). London: Penguin. pp. 212–213.
  16. ^ Carder, Sheri: "Clio Awards" The Guide to United States popular culture, pages 180–181, ISBN 978-0-87972-821-2

General and cited referencesEdit

Further readingEdit

  • Bartelink, Dr. G. J. M. (1988). Prisma van de mythologie. Utrecht: Het Spectrum.
  • van Aken, Dr. A. R. A. (1961). Elseviers Mythologische Encyclopedie. Amsterdam: Elsevier.

External linksEdit