Momus (reproach, disgrace) In Greek mythology, a son of Nox (or Nyx, night). Momus was god of criticism, ridicule, or fault-finding, according to Hesiod’s Theogony (214). He was thrown out of heaven by the gods when he criticized Zeus for placing a bull’s horns on its head rather than on its shoulders, which were stronger, and for ridiculing the feet or shoes of Aphrodite, though he did not complain about her naked body. Momus is now used as a term for someone who makes fun or carps at things, though George Meredith’s poem “Ode to the Comic Spirit” uses the god as a symbol of healthy criticism. In Greek art Momus is often portrayed raising a mask from his face and holding a small figure in his hand.
Encyclopedia of World Mythology and Legend, Third Edition – Written by Anthony S. Mercatante & James R. Dow– Copyright © 2009 by Anthony S. Mercatante