Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- For the modern musician see Momus (musician)
In Greek mythology, Momus was the god of mockery, writers, poets, a spirit of evil-spirited blame and unfair criticism. Hesiod said that Momus was a son of Night (Nyx), in Theogony, 214. He mocked Hephaestus, Lucian of Samosata recalled (in the extended dialogue Hermotimus, 20), for having made mankind without doors in their breast, through which their thoughts could be seen. He even mocked Aphrodite, though all he could find was that she was talkative and had creaky sandals (Philostratus, Epistles). Because of his constant criticism, he was exiled from Mt. Olympus.
When Sir Francis Bacon wrote an essay "Of Building," (XLV) he said that "He that builds a fair house upon an ill seat, committeth himself to prison... Neither is it ill air only that maketh an ill seat, but ill ways, ill markets, and, if you consult with Momus, ill neighbours."
The "Café Momus" is the fictional café (based on the Brasserie des Martyrs) that is the setting for Henri Murger 's Scènes de la vie bohème, which provided the basic material for Puccini's librettists of La Boheme.
Inspired by the god, Momus was the name of a Mardi Gras society in Galveston, the Knights of Momus ("KOM"), founded in 1871, and of the second-oldest New Orleans Carnival Krewe, founded in 1882. In 1992 a new city ordinance demanded more open krewe membership in return for parade permits, and Momus was one of three historic krewes, (with Comus of 1857 and Proteus of 1882) that elected to discontinue their parades rather than open up their membership.
- Harry Thurston Peck, Harper's Dictionary of classical antiquity, 1897: Momus
- Bohemian Café Society": the real "Café Momus
- Lawrence Sterne, Tristram Shandy: ruminations on Momus' windows of glass, in Volume 1, chapter 23 (text)
- La Bohème, where the Cafe Momus is the setting for the scene in the Latin quarter
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