I came across this phrase from an article talking about opera goers in the old times. It says only a few of them were true connoisseurs. Then it goes:

“several clerics, several shopkeepers, several schoolboys, sucklings of the muses and soldiers just returning from or about to leave for a tour of duty,” as a nineteenth- century Parisian described this rare breed.

What are "sucklings of the muses"? I looked up the dictionary for "scukling" and "muse", but still can't figure out what it means.

1 Answer 1


A suckling is a baby still at his mother's breast.

The Muses were the nine semi-divine inspirers of the arts in religion and poetry of ancient Greece.

A suckling of the muses is thus someone who draws his literal and figurative nourishment from the arts, a professional (or would-be professional) artist—in the case of opera-goers probably mostly composers and poets.

  • 1
    as always...bullet through the brain! :)
    – Maulik V
    Commented Apr 24, 2015 at 5:53

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