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Origin : the religious tradition

Accounts left by travellers of antiquity, especially Pausanias, speak of several cults connected with shrines in different regions.

It appears that there were several groups of Muses in ancient Greece, including The Muses of Thrace and the Muses of the Helicon.

The Muses of Thrace are linked to the cult of Dionysus and the myth of Orpheus.

The Muses of the Helicon, in Boeotia, connected with the cult of Apollo, are the best known.

    Mount Helicon is in a range of mountains in Boeotia, 30 kilometres long and reaching 1748 meters. This range was the border between Boeotia and Phocida (where Delphi was located). Mount Helicon was dedicated to the worship of Apollo, and features the oldest shrine of the Muses.

    There were two very famous springs on the slopes of the mountain :

    - The Hippocrene spring, which began to flow when the ground was struck by the hoof of Pegasus. According to legend, the Muses were commanded by the god Apollo to encircle Pegasus and sing;

    - The Aganippe spring.

    The shrine of the Muses was on the eastern slope of the mountain, just above the villages of Thespiae and Acra, birthplace of Hesiod.
    The hellenic Ministry of Culture gives a description of the Archaeological Site.