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37. We are told by Mnaseas that the Muses are the daughters of Tellus and Cœlus; others declare that they are Jove’s by his wife Memory, or Mens; some relate that they were virgins, others that they were matrons. For now we wish to touch briefly on the points where you are shown, from the difference of your opinions, to make different statements about the same thing. Ephorus, then, says that they are three40324032    Three was the most ancient number; and the names preserved by Pausanias, are Μελέτη, ᾽Αοιδή, Μνήμη. in number; Mnaseas, whom we mentioned, that they are four;40334033    Cicero (de Nat. Deor., iii. 21, a passage where there is some doubt as to the reading) enumerates as the four Muses, Thelxiope, Aœde, Arche, Melete. Myrtilus40344034    The ms. reads Murtylus. Seven are said to have been mentioned by Epicharmis,—Neilous, Tritone, Asopous, Heptapolis, Acheloïs, Tipoplous, and Rhodia. brings forward seven; Crates asserts that there are eight; finally Hesiod, enriching heaven and the stars with gods, comes forward with nine names.40354035    The nine are Clio, Euterpe, Thalia, Melpomene, Terpsichore, Erato, Polymnia, Ourania, and Calliope (Theog., 77–79).

If we are not mistaken, such want of agreement marks those who are wholly ignorant of the truth, and does not spring from the real 474state of the case. For if their number were clearly known, the voice of all would be the same, and the agreement of all would tend to and find issue in the same conclusion.40364036    Lit., “into the end of the same opinion.”

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