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Graces at a Glance
name | Graces or Charites (CariteV
role | goddesses who personified graceGraces in Greek Mythology
As their name suggests, the Graces or Charites were personifications of grace and charm in Greek mythology. Indeed, the title Charites especially signifies the role these lovely goddesses played in myth and legend, for it is related to the Greek word charis
(cariV), a word that literally means grace.
Although various sources for myth refer to different numbers of Graces of Charites, most often they are depicted as a trio. And each of these three goddesses represented an individual quality that was revered by the ancient Greeks. It was the poet Hesiod who named the Graces in his Theogony:
"Then Eurynome, Ocean's fair daughter,
bore to Zeus the three Graces, all fair-cheeked,
Aglaia, Euphrosyne, and shapely Thalia;
their alluring eyes glance from under their brows,
and from their eyelids drips desire that unstrings the limbs."
personified beauty and/or radiance
personified blooming or flowering
Hesiod also states in this passage that the Graces were the daughters of the Olympian god Zeus and the Oceanid Eurynome.
These enchanting goddesses were often the companions of Aphrodite in mythology. And indeed, the Graces were the perfect entourage for the radiant goddess of love. The Charites were also frequently found in the company of the Muses and many of the other Olympian gods and goddesses.
The Graces were known as Gratiae in Roman mythology.
Who's Who in Classical Mythology
This book is a great source for information about Greek and Roman mythology! Organized alphabetically, this who's who features information about over 1200 of the most intriguing characters from Classical myth and legend.
The stories of Classical myth come to life in Bulfinch's book. This edition also features legends from other cultures.
Do you have a specific question about Greek, Roman, and Celtic mythology? Then try the Mythography forum!
The Oxford Classical Dictionary