Greek concepts of Creativity

Notes from "Unleashing the Right Side of the Brain - the LARC Creativity Program" by Robert Williams and John Stockmyer

Around 500 BC, the Ancient Greeks believed they lived in a god-saturated universe, every rock and spring and mountain guarded by its nature spirit. They thought the inspiration for originality came from the gods and even invented heavenly creatures - the Muses - as supervisors of human creativity.

Socrates wrote that inspired thoughts originate with the gods, ideas coming not when a person is rational, but when someone is "beside himself", when "bereft of his senses. Since the gods take away reason before bestowing the gift of inspiration, "thinking" might actually prevent the reception of divinely inspired revelations.


The word "inspiration" is based on a Greek word meaning the God within.


The Muses

Notes from Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable

In Greek mythology the nine daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne. They were originally goddesses of memory only, but later identified with individual arts and sciences. The paintings of Herculaneum show all nine with their respective attributes.

There names are:

Tree earlier Muses are sometimes given: Melete (Meditation), Mneme (Remembrance) and Aoede (Song). See also the Tenth Muse.


I was thinking who would be the Muses for the 21st century. Read my list which I wrote just for fun and send me suggestions.

On to the 19th Century.