I.e. the singing (goddess), one of the nine Muses, became afterwards the Muse of Tragedy.

According to Apollodorus1 she is the mother of the three Sirens, viz. Aglaope, Peisinoë, and Thelxiepeia, by the river god Achelous.

From melpein, "to sing."


Melpomene is portrayed in long robes, sometimes veiled or with a wreath of ivy in her hair. She holds a tragic mask in her hand and wears cothurni shoes (the high shoes, bound with cords, traditionally worn by tragic actors). The famous painting of Melpomene is by Le Brun, at Versailles.



  1. Pseudo-Apollodorus. The Library: Epitome, 7.18.


  • Aken, Dr. A.R.A. van. (1961). Elseviers Mythologische Encyclopedie. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
  • Hesiod. Theogony, 77.
  • Smith, William. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London: Taylor, Walton, and Maberly.

This article incorporates text from Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology (1870) by William Smith, which is in the public domain.