From Wikipedia, the free encyclopediaIn Greek mythology, the Pierian Spring of Macedonia was sacred to the Muses. As the metaphorical source of knowledge of art and science, it was popularized by a line in Alexander Pope's poem "An Essay on Criticism" (1709).
Pieria, where the sacred spring was situated, was a region of ancient Macedonia, also the location of Mount Olympus, and believed to be the home and the seat of worship of Orpheus and the Muses, the deities of the arts and sciences. The spring is believed to be a fountain of knowledge that inspires whoever drinks from it.
 LiteratureAn early reference to the Pierian spring is found in the Satyricon of Petronius, from the late 1st century AD:
- "This is the right armour of genius–
- 'Drink deep or taste not the Pierian spring.'
- Only then pour out your heart."
- "A little learning is a dang'rous thing;
- Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian spring:
- There shallow draughts intoxicate the brain,
- And drinking largely sobers us again.
- Fir'd at first sight with what the Muse imparts,
- In fearless youth we tempt the heights of Arts,
- While from the bounded level of our mind
- Short views we take, nor see the lengths behind;
- But more advanc'd, behold with strange surprise
- New distant scenes of endless science rise!
- So pleas'd at first the towering Alps we try,
- Mount o'er the vales, and seem to tread the sky,
- Th' eternal snows appear already past,
- And the first clouds and mountains seem the last;
- But, those attain'd, we tremble to survey
- The growing labours of the lengthen'd way,
- Th' increasing prospects tire our wand'ring eyes,
- Hills peep o'er hills, and Alps on Alps arise!"
The opening stanza also appears in Ray Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, as Fire Captain Beatty chastizes Guy Montag, the protagonist, about reading books, which are forbidden in the society of the novel.
Sir William Jones (1746–1794) also made reference to "the fam'd Pierian rill" (a brook or rivulet) in his poem about the origin of chess, "Caissa".
 See also
- ^ Orpheus and Greek Religion (Mythos Books) by William Keith Guthrie and L. Alderlink, 1993, ISBN 0691024995, page 62
- ^ Classical Mythology in Literature, Art, and Music (Focus Texts: For Classical Language Study) by Philip Mayerson,2001,page 82: "... the Muses who were said to have frolicked about the Pierian springs soon after their birth. The Castalian spring on Mount Parnassus ..."
- ^ E.C. Marchant, Commentary on Thucydides: Book 2,Πιερίας—between Mt. Olympus and the Thermaic Gulf, the original home of the muses and birth-place of Orpheus.