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The Charites are the Greek goddesses of grace, beauty, charm, splendor, adornment, and festivity. They are also the handmaidens of the goddess Aphrodite.

History

Birth

Zeus, their father

According to Hesiod's Theogony, the Charites were the daughters of Zeus and the Oceanid Eurynome. They serve as attendants of the goddess Aphrodite, and presided over feasts, banquets, and festivities on Olympus.

Though Hesiod named three primary Charites (Thalia, Euphrosyne, and Aglaïa), others such as Homer and Pausanias have also named additional Charites. However, they all share one great similarity: they all presided over grace, joy, and merriment, and served as either the attendants or companions of the major gods, especially Aphrodite.

For instance, in Homer's Iliad, it was mentioned that Aphrodite wore an "ambrosial raiment" that the Charites had woven for her. It was also stated in the Odyssey that, after Aphrodite was caught committing adultery with Ares, she went to her sanctuary on the isle of Cyprus, where the Charites "bathed and rubbed her with the ambrosial oil that glistened on the skin of the immortal gods", and then "dressed her in beautiful clothes".

The Elder Charites (Hesiod's Theogony)

  • Thalia ("plentiful" or "luxuriant"): The oldest of the three, Thalia is the goddess of festivity and banquets.
  • Euphrosyne ("merriment): The goddess of good cheer, mirth, merriment, and joy.
  • Aglaïa ("glory" or "splendor"): The youngest of the three, Aglaïa is the goddess of beauty, splendor, glory, and adornment.

Abilities

As daughters of Zeus and an Oceanid, the Charites are powerful despite being minor goddesses.

  • Charm Manipulation: As the Goddesses of Charm and Splendor, the Charites have divine authority and absolute control over the charm and delight common in social gatherings
  • Control of the Graces: As the Goddesses of Grace, the Charites have divine authority and absolute control over the specific grace that each of them represent.
  • Weaving: All the Charites are very talented weavers. In Homer's Iliad, they weave a splendourous robe for Aphrodite.
  • Beauty and Omnipotent Allure: As the Goddesses of Beauty, the Charites are breathtakingly beautiful, though not to the extent of Aphrodite.

Trivia

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