October 6th, 2008 by sabrina

I’ve seen a lot of different ways to pronounce Thalia in my searches, but I’m pretty sure that the one I use is correct. Most of the Greek Goddess names have the emphasis on the second syllable, so I know I have that part right. When spelled as Thaleia (or Θαλεια in Greek), it would have been pronounced tha-LAY-uh in Ancient Greek, although the “ei” is pronounced as EYE in Modern Greek, giving tha-LIE-uh. Disagree? Let me know!

Thalia (pronounced tha-LIE-uh) is the Greek Muse of comedy and rustic poetry. The nine Muses are the daughters of Zeus and Mnemosyne, and they accompany Apollo in his role as God of the arts. She is usually depicted holding up the comic actor’s mask and wearing a wreath of ivy on her head. Sometimes she holds a shepherd’s staff, and other times a drum or tambourine—her sons with Apollo, the Korybantes, performed a dance to the beat of drums as part of the Mysteries of Samothrace. Thalia’s name, which means “flourishing,” is also seen as Thaleia.

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5 responses about “Thalia”

  1. Mandy said:

    You say that she and Apollo were the parents of the Korybantes, but it is also known that Calliope and Zeus etc were the parents… are they the actual parents or are all of the examples the parents?

  2. sabrina said:

    Apollodorus says that it was Thalia and Apollo, while Strabo says that it was Calliope and Zeus. Strabo was really more of a geographer than a historian, so I chose Apollodorus’s version. There’s also the fact that Zeus was Calliope’s father, adding an “eww” factor. Which one is correct is really anyone’s guess—this is mine.
    Thanks for reading!

  3. Orpheus said:

    ?????? is pronounced tha- lee- uh in modern greek.

  4. Homer said:

    I agree with Orpheus on the pronunciation. Just to clarify that the stressed syllable “tha”,i.e. THA-lee-uh. I find your site very interesting and amusing. Thank you.

  5. sabrina said:

    Merriam-Webster has it as tha-LIE-uh (audio file here). There’s also an interesting discussion on Facebook by a number of women named Thalia about all the ways their names have been mispronounced: The many mispronunciations of Thalia. Some of them also pronounce it as just a T sound at the beginning, not TH.