Parnassus, Mount

views updated

Parnassus, Mount a mountain in central Greece, just north of Delphi. Held to be sacred by the ancient Greeks, as was the spring of Castalia on its southern slopes, it was associated with Apollo and the Muses and regarded as a symbol of poetry.

Parnassian means of or belonging to Mount Parnassus as the source of literary (especially poetic) inspiration. The name was also given to a group of French poets of the late 19th century who rejected Romanticism and emphasized strictness of form, named from the anthology Le Parnasse contemporain (1866).