The Info List - Charites

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In Greek mythology, a Charis (/ˈkeɪrɪs/; Greek: Χάρις, pronounced [kʰáris]) or Grace is one of three or more minor goddesses of charm, beauty, nature, human creativity, and fertility, together known as the Charites
/ˈkærɪtiːz/ (Χάριτες [kʰáritɛːs]) or Graces. The usual list, from youngest to oldest is Aglaea
("Splendor"), Euphrosyne ("Mirth"), and Thalia ("Good Cheer"). In Roman mythology
Roman mythology
they were known as the Gratiae, the "Graces". In some variants, Charis was one of the Graces and was not the singular form of their name. The Charites
were usually considered the daughters of Zeus
and Eurynome, though they were also said to be daughters of Dionysus
and Aphrodite
or of Helios
and the naiad Aegle. Other possible names of their mother by Zeus
are Eurydome, Eurymedousa, and Euanthe.[1] Homer wrote that they were part of the retinue of Aphrodite. The Charites were also associated with the Greek underworld
Greek underworld
and the Eleusinian Mysteries. The river Cephissus near Delphi
was sacred to the three goddesses.


1 Regional differences 2 In art 3 See also 4 Notes 5 References 6 External links

Regional differences[edit]

The Three Graces, from Sandro Botticelli's painting Primavera in the Uffizi Gallery.

Although the Graces usually numbered three, according to the Spartans, Cleta, not Thalia, was the third, and other Graces are sometimes mentioned, including Auxo, Hegemone, Peitho, Phaenna, Pasithea
and Charis or Cale. An ancient vase painting attests the following names as five: Antheia
("Blossoms"), Eudaimonia
("Happiness"), Paidia ("Play"), Pandaisia ("Banquet"), Pannychis ("Night Festivities")—all referring to the Charites
as patronesses of amusement and festivities. Pausanias interrupts his Description of Greece (book 9.xxxv.1–7) to expand upon the various conceptions of the Graces that had developed in different parts of mainland Greece and Ionia:

"The Boeotians say that Eteocles was the first man to sacrifice to the Graces. Moreover, they are aware that he established three as the number of the Graces, but they have no tradition of the names he gave them. The Lacedaemonians, however, say that the Graces are two, and that they were instituted by Lacedaemon, son of Taygete, who gave them the names of Cleta ("Sound" or "Renowned") and Phaenna (“Light” or “Bright”). These are appropriate names for Graces, as are those given by the Athenians, who from of old have worshipped two Graces, Auxo
("Increase" or "Growth") and Hegemone ("Leader" or "Queen"), until Hermesianax
added Peitho
("Persuasion") as a third.[2] It was from Eteocles of Orchomenus that we learned the custom of praying to three Graces. And Angelion and Tectaus, sons of Dionysus, who made the image of Apollo
for the Delians, set three Graces in his hand. Again, at Athens, before the entrance to the Acropolis, the Graces are three in number; by their side are celebrated mysteries which must not be divulged to the many. Pamphos (Πάμφως or Πάμφος) was the first we know of to sing about the Graces, but his poetry contains no information either as to their number or about their names. Homer
(he too refers to the Graces) makes one the wife of Hephaestus, giving her the name of Charis ("Grace"). He also says that Sleep was a lover of Pasithea
("Hallucination"), and in the speech of Sleep there is this verse:

Verily that he would give me one of the younger Graces.

"Hence some have suspected that Homer
knew of older Graces as well. Hesiod
in the Theogony
(though the authorship is doubtful, this poem is good evidence) says that the three Graces are daughters of Zeus
and Eurynome, giving them the names of Aglaia, Euphrosyne and lovely Thalia. The poem of Onomacritus agrees with this account. Antimachus, while giving neither the number of the Graces nor their names, says that they are daughters of Aegle and the Sun. The elegiac poet Hermesianax
disagrees with his predecessors in that he makes Persuasion also one of the Graces."[3] Nonnus
gives their three names as Pasithea, Peitho
and Aglaia.[4][5] Sostratus gives the names as Pasithea, Cale ("Beauty") and Euphrosyne;[6][7] Pasithea
for Aglaia and Cale for Thalia, Euphrosyne is unchanged.[8]

In art[edit]

The Graces in a 1st-century fresco at Pompeii

On the representation of the Graces, Pausanias wrote,

"Who it was who first represented the Graces naked, whether in sculpture or in painting, I could not discover. During the earlier period, certainly, sculptors and painters alike represented them draped. At Smyrna, for instance, in the sanctuary of the Nemeses, above the images have been dedicated Graces of gold, the work of Bupalus; and in the Music Hall in the same city there is a portrait of a Grace, painted by Apelles. At Pergamus likewise, in the chamber of Attalus, are other images of Graces made by Bupalus; and near what is called the Pythium there is a portrait of Graces, painted by Pythagoras the Parian. Socrates
too, son of Sophroniscus, made images of Graces for the Athenians, which are before the entrance to the Acropolis. Also, Socrates
was known to have destroyed his own work as he progressed deeper into his life of philosophy and search of the conscious due to his iconoclastic attitude towards art and the like. All these are alike draped; but later artists, I do not know the reason, have changed the way of portraying them. Certainly to-day sculptors and painters represent Graces naked."

The Three Graces, from Carle van Loo (1763)

By Raphael

During the Renaissance, the Roman statue group of the three graces in the Piccolomini
library in Duomo di Siena
Duomo di Siena
inspired most themes. The Charites
are depicted together with several other mythological figures in Sandro Botticelli's painting Primavera. Raphael
also pictured them in a painting now housed in Chantilly in France. Among other artistic depictions, they are the subject of famous sculptures by Antonio Canova
Antonio Canova
and Bertel Thorvaldsen. A group of three trees in the Calaveras Big Trees State Park
Calaveras Big Trees State Park
are named "The Three Graces" after the Charites.[9]

List of artwork with images resembling encircled Graces

Anonymous[10] Ambrogio Lorenzetti
Ambrogio Lorenzetti
(1348–50) Allegory of Good Government[11] Anonymous[12] Cosimo Tura
Cosimo Tura
(1476–84) detail of Allegory of April[13] Sandro Botticelli
Sandro Botticelli
(1482); detail of Primavera;[14] Giulio di Antonio Bonasone[15] Germain Pilon[16] Antonio da Correggio
Antonio da Correggio
(1518);[17] Raphael
Sanzio[18] Jacopo Pontormo
Jacopo Pontormo
(1535)[19] Hans Baldung Grien (1540) Jacob Matham[20] Agostino Carracci[21][22] Jacques Blanchard
Jacques Blanchard
(1631–33) Man surprising Sleeping Venus and Graces[23] Francesco Bartolozzi[24] Jean-Baptiste van Loo
Jean-Baptiste van Loo
(1684–1745) at the Château de Chenonceau[25] Peter Paul Rubens[26] Paul Cézanne Antonio Canova
Antonio Canova
(1799) The Three Graces[27] Jean-Baptiste Regnault
Jean-Baptiste Regnault
Les Trois Grâces
(1797-1798)[28] Ludwig Von Hofmann[29] Laura Knight[30][31] Joel-Peter Witkin Maurice Raphael
Drouart[32] Arthur Frank Mathews[33] Bruce Peebles
Bruce Peebles
& Co. advertisement (c. 1900) Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso
"The Three Graces" (1925) Jean Arp
Jean Arp
(September 16, 1886 – June 7, 1966) The Three Graces (1961) Kehinde Wiley
Kehinde Wiley
Three Graces[34]

See also[edit]

Greek deities series

Primordial deities Titans and Olympians Aquatic deities Chthonic
deities Mycenaean deities Other deities

Personified concepts

Achlys Adikia Alala Algos Amphilogiai Androktasiai Angelia Apate Atë Bia Charites Dike Dysnomia Epiales Eris Eros Harmonia Hedone Homados Horae Horkos Hypnos Hysminai Kratos Kydoimos Lampetia Limos Makhai Metis Mnemosyne Moirai Oneiroi Palioxis Polemos Proioxis Neikea Nemesis Nike Pandia Phaethusa Phonoi Ponos Thanatos Themis Zelos

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627 Charis Charisma Charis (name) Grâces Three of Cups
Three of Cups

Notes[edit] (The Imagebase links are all broken)

^ Cornutus, Compendium of Greek Theology, 15 ^ Carr, Thomas Swinburne. A manual of classical mythology; or, A companion to the Greek and Latin poets, designed chiefly to explain words, phrases and epithets, from the fables and traditions to which they refer. p. 139 ISBN 9781290153911 ^ Pausanias. Description of Greece Archived October 2, 2009, at the Wayback Machine., book 9.xxxv.1–7. W.H.S. Jones and H.A. Ormerod, trans. The Perseus Digital Library. ^ Nonnus, Dionysiaca
24.261–3 ^ Thomas Keightley
Thomas Keightley
(1838). The mythology of ancient Greece and Italy, p. 192 [1] ^ Alan Cameron, Greek Mythography in the Roman World. p. 150 ISBN 0-19-517121-7 ^ Charles Wilkins, The Red Dragon: The National Magazine of Wales, Volume 11. p. 76 ^ Perry L. Westmoreland (2007). Ancient Greek Beliefs, p. 112, ISBN 0-9793248-1-5 ^ ""The Three Graces", Calveras Big Tree State Park". Search3.famsf.org:8080. Archived from the original on 2009-07-24. Retrieved 2010-03-16.  ^ Mosaico de las tres gracias ^ "''Allegory of Good Government". Wga.hu. Retrieved 2010-03-16.  ^ "ImageBase". Search3.famsf.org:8080. Retrieved 2010-03-16.  ^ "''Allegory of April''". Wga.hu. Retrieved 2010-03-16.  ^ "detail of ''Primavera''". Wga.hu. Retrieved 2010-03-16.  ^ "ImageBase". Search3.famsf.org:8080. Retrieved 2010-03-16.  ^ Monument du coeur d'Henri II ^ Olga Mataev. "Correggio. Three Graces. - Olga's Gallery". Abcgallery.com. Retrieved 2010-03-16.  ^ Olga Mataev. "Raphael. The Three Graces.- Olga's Gallery". Abcgallery.com. Retrieved 2010-03-16.  ^ "Three Graces by PONTORMO, Jacopo". Wga.hu. Retrieved 2010-03-16.  ^ "ImageBase". Search3.famsf.org:8080. Retrieved 2010-03-16.  ^ "ImageBase". Search3.famsf.org:8080. Retrieved 2010-03-16.  ^ "ImageBase". Search3.famsf.org:8080. Retrieved 2010-03-16.  ^ "''Man surprising Sleeping Venus and Graces". Wga.hu. Retrieved 2010-03-16.  ^ "ImageBase". Search3.famsf.org:8080. Retrieved 2010-03-16.  ^ Three Graces at Chenonceau ^ "Rubens: The Three Graces". Artchive.com. Retrieved 2010-03-16.  ^ "The Three Graces Dancing by CANOVA, Antonio". Wga.hu. Retrieved 2010-03-16.  ^ "''Les Trois Grâces''". Retrieved 2011-09-05.  ^ "ImageBase". Search3.famsf.org:8080. Retrieved 2010-03-16.  ^ "ImageBase". Search3.famsf.org:8080. Retrieved 2010-03-16.  ^ "ImageBase". Search3.famsf.org:8080. Retrieved 2010-03-16.  ^ "ImageBase". Search3.famsf.org:8080. Retrieved 2010-03-16.  ^ "ImageBase". Search3.famsf.org:8080. 1945-02-19. Retrieved 2010-03-16.  ^ "''Three Graces''". Retrieved 2010-03-16. 


Grimal, Pierre, The Dictionary of Classical Mythology, Wiley-Blackwell, 1996, ISBN 978-0-631-20102-1. "Charites" p. 99 Smith, William; Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology, London (1873). "Charis" Nick Fisher, "Kharis, Kharites, festivals, and social peace in the classical Greek city," in Ralph M. Rosen and Ineke Sluiter (Eds), Valuing Others in Classical Antiquity (Leiden, Brill, 2010) (Mnemosyne Supplements, 323),

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gratiae.

The Theoi Project, "THE KHARITES" The charites — Judgement of Paris — art article (Spanish) Warburg Institute Iconographic Database (ca 300 images of the Charites)

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Ancient Greek deities by affiliation

Primordial deities

Achlys Aether Aion/Chronos Ananke Chaos Erebus Eros/Phanes Gaia Hemera Nyx The Ourea Pontus/Thalassa Tartarus Uranus Fates

Atropos Clotho Lachesis

Titan deities

Titanes (male)

Coeus Crius Cronus Hyperion Iapetus Oceanus Ophion

Titanides (female)

Dione Eurybia Mnemosyne Phoebe Rhea Tethys Theia Themis


Eos Helios Selene


Asteria Leto


Astraeus Pallas Perses


Atlas Epimetheus Menoetius Prometheus

Mousai (Muses)

Aoide Arche Melete Mneme

Olympian deities


Aphrodite Apollo Ares Artemis Athena Demeter Dionysus Hephaestus Hera Hermes Hestia Poseidon Zeus

Theoi Olympioi

Asclepius Deimos Ganymede Eileithyia Enyo Eris Iris Harmonia Hebe Heracles Paean Pan Phobos

Mousai (Muses)

Daughters of Zeus

Calliope Clio Euterpe Erato Melpomene Polyhymnia Terpsichore Thalia Urania

Daughters of Apollo

Apollonis Borysthenis Cephisso

of the Lyre

Hypate Mese Nete

at Sicyon



Aglaea Antheia Euphrosyne Hegemone Pasithea Thalia


Dike Eirene Eunomia


Bia Kratos Nike Zelos

Aquatic deities

Theoi Halioi

Amphitrite Benthesikyme Brizo Calypso Ceto Glaucus The Ichthyocentaurs Kymopoleia Leucothea Melicertes Nereus Nerites The Nesoi Oceanus Phorcys Pontus/Thalassa Poseidon Proteus Rhodos Tethys Thaumas Thetis Triton


Acaste Admete Adrasteia Amalthea Asia Callirrhoe Ceto Clytie Dione Dodone Doris Electra Eurynome Idyia Melia Metis Nemesis Perse Pleione Plouto Styx Telesto Zeuxo


Amphitrite Arethusa Dynamene Galatea Galene Psamathe Thetis


Achelous Almo Alpheus Anapos Asopus Asterion Axius Caanthus Cebren Cephissus Clitumnus Enipeus Kladeos Meander Nilus Numicus Phyllis Peneus Rivers of the Underworld

Cocytus Eridanos Lethe Phlegethon Styx

Sangarius Scamander Simoeis Strymon


Aegina Achiroe Aganippe The Anigrides Argyra Bistonis Bolbe Caliadne Cassotis Castalia Cleocharia Creusa Daphne Drosera Harpina The Ionides Ismenis Larunda Lilaea Liriope Melite Metope Minthe Moria Nana Nicaea Orseis Pallas Pirene Salmacis Stilbe The Thriae

Corycia Kleodora Melaina


Chthonic deities

Theoi Chthonioi

Angelos Demeter Gaia Hades Hecate The Lampads Macaria Melinoë Persephone Zagreus


Alecto Megaera Tisiphone


Cyclopes Gigantes Hecatonchires Kouretes Meliae Telchines Typhon


Trophonius Triptolemus Orpheus Aeacus Minos Rhadamanthus


Children of Nyx

Achlys Apate Dolos Eleos Elpis Epiphron Eris Geras Hesperides Hybris Hypnos Ker The Keres The Moirai

Aisa Clotho Lachesis

Momus Moros Oizys The Oneiroi

Epiales Morpheus Phantasos Phobetor

Nemesis Philotes Sophrosyne Thanatos

Children of Eris

Algos Amphillogiai Ate The Androktasiai Dysnomia Horkos Hysminai Lethe Limos Machai Phonoi Ponos Neikea Pseudea Logoi

Children of other gods

Aergia Aidos Alala Aletheia Angelia Arete Bia Caerus The Younger Charites

Eucleia Eupheme Euthenia Philophrosyne

Corus Deimos The Erotes

Anteros Eros Hedylogos Hermaphroditus Hymen

Eupraxia Hedone Homonoia Iacchus Kratos The Litae Homonoia Nike Peitho Phobos Tyche Zelos


Adephagia Alala Alke Amechania Anaideia Alastor Apheleia Aporia The Arae Dikaiosyne Dyssebeia Ekecheiria Eulabeia Eusebeia Gelos Heimarmene Homados Horme Ioke Kakia Kalokagathia Koalemos Kydoimos Lyssa The Maniae Methe Nomos Palioxis Peitharchia Penia Penthus Pepromene Pheme Philotes Phrike Phthonus Pistis Poine Polemos Poros Praxidike Proioxis Prophasis Roma Soter Soteria Techne Thrasos

Other deities

Sky deities

The Anemoi The Astra Planeti

Stilbon Eosphorus Hesperus Pyroeis Phaethon Phaenon

Aura Chione The Hesperides The Hyades Nephele The Pleiades

Alcyone Sterope Celaeno Electra Maia Merope Taygete

Agricultural deities

Aphaea Ariadne Carmanor Demeter Despoina Eunostus Philomelus Plutus

Health deities

Asclepius Aceso Epione Iaso Hygieia Panacea Telesphorus

Rustic deities

Aetna The Alseids The Auloniads Amphictyonis The Anthousai Aristaeus Attis Britomartis The Cabeiri Comus The Dryades

Erato Eurydice The Hamadryades


The Epimeliades Hecaterus Leuce Ma The Maenades The Meliae The Napaeae The Nymphai Hyperboreioi The Oreads

Adrasteia Echo Helike Iynx Nomia Oenone Pitys

The Pegasides Priapus Rhapso Silenus Telete


Acratopotes Adrasteia Agdistis Alexiares and Anicetus Aphroditus Astraea Circe Eiresione Enyalius Harpocrates Ichnaea Palaestra

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 67260