Momus, the son of Nyx, was the god of raillery and ridicule, who delighted to criticise, with bitter sarcasm, the actions of gods and men, and contrived to discover in all things some defect or blemish.

Thus when Prometheus created the first man, Momus considered his work incomplete because there was no aperture in the breast through which his inmost thoughts might be read. He also found fault with a house built by Athene because, being unprovided with the means of locomotion, it could never be removed from an unhealthy locality.

Aphrodite alone defied his criticism, for, to his great chagrin, he could find no fault with her perfect form. In what manner the ancients represented this god is unknown. In modern art he is depicted like a king's jester, with a fool's cap and bells.


From: Berens, E.M. The Myths and Legends of Ancient Greece and Rome. New York: Maynard, Merril, & Co., 1880. Text in the public domain.