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Urania was, in Greek mythology
Greek mythology
Greek mythology is the body of myths and legends belonging to the ancient Greeks, concerning their gods and heroes, the nature of the world, and the origins and significance of their own cult and ritual practices. They were a part of religion in ancient Greece...

, the muse
The Muses in Greek mythology, poetry, and literature, are the goddesses who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. They were considered the source of the knowledge, related orally for centuries in the ancient culture, that was contained in poetic lyrics and myths...

 of astronomy. Some accounts list her as the mother of the musician Linus
Linus (mythology)
In Greek mythology Linus refers to the musical son of Oeagrus, nominally Apollo, and the Muse Calliope. As the son of Apollo and a Muse, either Calliope or Terpsichore, he is considered the inventor of melody and rhythm. Linus taught music to his brother Orpheus and then to Heracles. Linus went...

. She is usually depicted with a globe in her left hand. She is able to foretell the future by the arrangement of the stars. She is often associated with Universal Love and the Holy Spirit.

Urania dresses in a cloak embroidered with stars and keeps her eyes and attention focused on the Heavens. Those who are most concerned with philosophy and the heavens are dearest to her.
Urania, o'er her star-bespangled lyre,
With touch of majesty diffused her soul;
A thousand tones, that in the breast inspire,
Exalted feelings, o er the wires'gan roll—
How at the call of Jove the mist unfurled,
And o'er the swelling vault—the glowing sky,
The new-born stars hung out their lamps on high,
And rolled their mighty orbs to music's sweetest sound.
—From An Ode To Music by James G. Percival
James Gates Percival
James Gates Percival was an American poet and geologist, born in Berlin, Connecticut and died in Hazel Green, Wisconsin.-Biography:...

During the Renaissance
The Renaissance was a cultural movement that spanned roughly the 14th to the 17th century, beginning in Italy in the Late Middle Ages and later spreading to the rest of Europe. The term is also used more loosely to refer to the historical era, but since the changes of the Renaissance were not...

, Urania began to be considered the Muse for Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 poets. In the invocation to Book 7 of John Milton
John Milton
John Milton was an English poet, polemicist, a scholarly man of letters, and a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under Oliver Cromwell...

's epic poem
Epic poetry
An epic is a lengthy narrative poem, ordinarily concerning a serious subject containing details of heroic deeds and events significant to a culture or nation. Oral poetry may qualify as an epic, and Albert Lord and Milman Parry have argued that classical epics were fundamentally an oral poetic form...

 Paradise Lost
Paradise Lost
Paradise Lost is an epic poem in blank verse by the 17th-century English poet John Milton. It was originally published in 1667 in ten books, with a total of over ten thousand individual lines of verse...

, the poet invokes Urania to aid his narration of the creation of the cosmos, though he cautions that it is "[t]he meaning, not the name I call" (7.5).

Muse magazine features Urania as one of the characters in the "Kokopelli and Co." comic strip by Larry Gonick
Larry Gonick
Larry Gonick is a cartoonist best known for The Cartoon History of the Universe, a history of the world in comic book form, which he has been publishing in installments since 1977...

published in each issue of the magazine. She is the only original muse who remains among the "new muses" featured in the magazine.cn
- Places :* People's Republic of China, ISO 3166-1 alpha-2 country code; sometimes refers exclusively to Mainland China* Comoros, FIPS Pub 10-4 and obsolete NATO digram* CN Tower, Toronto* CN Centre - an arena in Prince George, British Columbia...

Symbol usage

Her name has been used to name astronomical observatories
An observatory is a location used for observing terrestrial or celestial events. Astronomy, climatology/meteorology, geology, oceanography and volcanology are examples of disciplines for which observatories have been constructed...

 such as the Urania in Berlin
Berlin is the capital city of Germany and is one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.45 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city. It is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union...

, Budapest
Budapest is the capital of Hungary. As the largest city of Hungary, it is the country's principal political, cultural, commercial, industrial, and transportation centre. In 2011, Budapest had 1,733,685 inhabitants, down from its 1989 peak of 2,113,645 due to suburbanization. The Budapest Commuter...

, Vienna
Urania (Vienna)
The Palace Urania is a public educational institute and observatory in Vienna.It was built according to the plans of Art Nouveau style architect Max Fabiani at the outlet of the Wien River and was opened in 1910 by Franz Joseph I of Austria as an educational facility with a public observatory...

, Zurich
Zurich is the largest city in Switzerland and the capital of the canton of Zurich. It is located in central Switzerland at the northwestern tip of Lake Zurich...

 and Antwerp and Uraniborg
Uranienborg was a Danish astronomical observatory operated by Tycho Brahe; built circa 1576-1580 on Hven, an island in the Øresund between Zealand and Scania, which at that time was part of Denmark. The observatory was shortly after its construction expanded with an underground facility,...

 on the island of Hven
Ven is a small Swedish island in the Öresund strait, between Scania and Zealand . It is situated in Landskrona Municipality, Skåne County. The island has 371 inhabitants and an area of . During the 1930s, the population was at its peak, with approximately 1,300 inhabitants...

. The official seal of the U.S. Naval Observatory portrays Urania. There is a Urania Street in New Orleans, between Polymnia ("Polyhymnia") and Felicity Streets. Hr.Ms. Urania is a sail training vessel for the Royal Netherlands Naval College
Royal Netherlands Naval College
The Royal Netherlands Naval College in Den Helder is the service academy of the Royal Netherlands Navy. The KIM offers a program of four or five years and also a short course of sixteen to twenty-two months...

. There has been a Hr. Ms. Urania in the Royal Netherlands Navy since 1832. Urania is also the name of a popular female-fronted rock band in Honduras.

Urania Cottage was a refuge for fallen women established by the writer Charles Dickens
Charles Dickens
Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English novelist, generally considered the greatest of the Victorian period. Dickens enjoyed a wider popularity and fame than had any previous author during his lifetime, and he remains popular, having been responsible for some of English literature's most iconic...

 in Lime Grove, Shepherd’s Bush, London in the late 1840s. The funding was provided by millionaire and philanthropist Angela Burdett-Coutts, of the well-known banking family. Some of the inmates may have provided inspiration for certain of the female characters in Dickens' novels.

At Columbia University
Columbia University
Columbia University in the City of New York is a private, Ivy League university in Manhattan, New York City. Columbia is the oldest institution of higher learning in the state of New York, the fifth oldest in the United States, and one of the country's nine Colonial Colleges founded before the...

 (end of 18th century) there was a Urania Society, for the improvement of oratory skills, felicity of composition and aptitude to debate philosophical topics. DeWitt Clinton
DeWitt Clinton
DeWitt Clinton was an early American politician and naturalist who served as United States Senator and the sixth Governor of New York. In this last capacity he was largely responsible for the construction of the Erie Canal...

 joined that society.

On 9 November 1970, the Urania Trust was formed in London. The aims of the Trust are to further the advancement of education by the teaching of the relationship between man’s knowledge of beliefs about the heavens and every aspect of his art, science, philosophy and religion.

In University of São Paulo
University of São Paulo
Universidade de São Paulo is a public university in the Brazilian state of São Paulo. It is the largest Brazilian university and one of the country's most prestigious...

, the logo of the Institute of Astronomy, Geophysics and Atmospheric Sciences bears Urania.

External links