Calliope, Muse of epic poetry, the lengthy narrative poems. Her attributes are the stylus – a writing implement – and a tabula – a tablet. However, these attributes are modern additions to the sculpture.
Originally this statue represented Isis, a famous Egyptian goddess in Greek and Roman times. We know this because Isis was always depicted with her hair down – which was in that time a sign of a woman’s grief. Isis was mourning her dead husband Osiris. Look closely and you can still see wisps of hair like a necklace around this statue’s neck.
The statue’s head was also originally a male head, but thanks to a reworked hairdo, her attributes and her place in line with the other Muses, the statue has now become Calliope.