Daily Myth:Greek- Charites

The Charites, better known as the Three Graces, is a trio of minor goddesses. They represent feminine charm, beauty, and human creativity. Daughters of Zeus, God of All Gods/Lightning/Sky, and , and Eurynome, daughter of the Ocean and Goddess of Lawful Order, the Charites were meant to fill the world with good will and happiness. They were the most important female attendants of Aphrodite and her personal handmaidens. They could also be found dancing with musical Apollo’s attendants and enjoying Dionysus’s parties.

WARNING: THERE ARE FAMOUS WORKS OF ART IN THIS POST. EVEN THOUGH MOST OF THE PICTURES ARE CLOSE UPS OF THE FACES, BOOBS ARE VISIBLE. IF YOU ARE SOMEONE WHO DOES NOT WISH TO SEE THIS PLEASE DO NOT CONTINUE.

The Three Graces found in the Louvre

The Three Graces found in the Louvre

The eldest was Thalia, Goddess of Good Cheer and Abundance. She and her sisters are usually found near banquets and parties helping create festivity. Thalia was known to create abundance at banquets.

Euphrosyne is the second eldest (or second youngest which ever you pick), and she is the Goddess of Mirth. She brings laughter and joy into revelries.

Lastly is Algaea, the youngest Charis and the Goddess of Splendor, Radiance, and Adornment. She is a minor goddess of beauty. On minor occasions she acted as Aphrodite’s messenger.

Three Graces in Bronze by Jeff Adams

Three Graces in Bronze by Jeff Adams

Algaea was married to Hephaestus. A brief description of Hephaestus: He was the God of Craftsmen, Blacksmiths, Artisans, and Fire/Volcanoes. He was the son of Hera, Queen of All Gods and Goddess of Women/Birth/Marriage, and Zeus.

Hephaestus created all the weapons for all the Gods on Mount Olympus. He is usually described as ugly and lame, even though in most sculptures of him he is shown in an idealistic light.

When Aphrodite was born, all the young male Gods on Mount Olympus fought for the right to woo her, including Apollo, Ares, and Hermes, Poseidon. Zeus knew that because of her immense beauty, the other gods could start a violent war to have her. So as to stop this, Zeus gave her hand in marriage to Hephaestus, the calmest and most unfaltering of the Gods.

The Three Graces by Arbetta (deviantart).

The Three Graces by Arbetta (deviantart).

So Hephaestus and Aphrodite got married, one of the few Gods to be married mostly between the twelve on Mount Olympus. But the thing is, Aphrodite did not like him. She actually hated him, because she found him ugly and boring. Plus, she is the goddess of love, beauty, desire, and sex; she is not one to be tied down to one man, especially one she did not love. She began an affair with his brother Ares, the manly, violent God of War. Eventually, Hephaestus finds out through the help of the all seeing Helios, primordial God/Titan of the Sun. Though even tempered, he was not about ready to be cuckold by his cheating wife. So he planed a trap for Ares and Aphrodite where he ensnared them in an unbreakable metal net while they were doing the deed. As punishment he brought them to Mount Olympus to humiliate them. Aphrodites was so embarrassed the Three Graces (primarily Algaea) had to cheer her up. They dressed her in the finest cloth, that they wove, so that she would continue her duties as a goddess.

Ironically enough, and the point to this entire story, is that after Hephaestus divorced Aphrodite, he married Algaea. They were said to be very happy with each other. (I love the fact that Hephaestus went from being married to a Goddess of Beauty that disliked him and cheated on him, to a Minor Goddess of Beauty and loved each other. For the ugliest God of the twelve, he sure did get to marry the prettiest girls.)

Together Algaea and Hephaestus had four daughters, all of who were later also considered to be new/minor Charites. They were Eucleia, Goddess of Good Fame/Reputation, Euthenia, Goddess of Prosperity, Eupheme, Goddess of Acclaim/Approval, and Philophrosyne, Goddess of Welcome/Friendliness/Kindness.

The Three Graces Jean-Jacques Pradier (1831) Musée du Louvre

The Three Graces Jean-Jacques Pradier (1831) Musée du Louvre

The Three Graces won great respect and love from the Gods and Goddess of Mount Olympus. They were great hostesses for Olympus gatherings which pleased Hera. They also brought much fun to the parties of Dionysus and Apollo. The Three Graces, Nine Muses, Three Horae, Bacchants, Satyrs, and Erotes together, really made the festivities come to life, to godly standards.

 

If you wanna know more, check out this website: http://www.theoi.com/Ouranios/Kharites.html

-Blog Barista

 

When I found out that the Grace of Beauty married Hephaestus after his divorce, I was so happy I had to tell the story.

When I found out that the Grace of Beauty married Hephaestus after his divorce, I was so happy I had to tell the story.

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