The CHARITES (GRACES). 1711: Antonio Canova, 1757-1822. Glyptotek, Copenhagen.
"We worship not the
Graces, nor the Parcae, but Fashion. She spins and weaves
and cuts with full authority. The head monkey at
Paris puts on a traveller's cap, and all the
monkeys in America do the same." (Henry David Thoreau 1817-1862, Walden).
Of all deities, the CHARITES (GRACES) are the nearest
related to Aphrodite, who wore
in battle (during the Trojan
War) a clothing made by them when she was wounded by Diomedes 2. As the CHARITES
glance, love flow from their eyes. They were given the
adornment of personal appearance, and the embellishment of
each part of the body; consequently, they are the very
incarnation of beauty and grace. Near the topmost peak of
Olympus, there are the dancing-places of the MUSES, and beside them the CHARITES and Himerus (Desire) live in delight.
The eldest of the CHARITES, Pasithea 2, was promised by Hera to Hypnos (Sleep) as a bride if he
would help her in making Zeus fall asleep. Aglaia 1, the youngest, was a messenger of Aphrodite.
It is told that Eteocles 2 of Minyan Orchomenus was the first to sacrifice to the CHARITES according to Pausanias (9.35.3), who says that "it was from Eteocles of
Orchomenus that we learned the custom of praying to three Graces" (and not to any other number of
them), as also Theocritus says:
"O holy Graces first adored of Eteocles ..." (16.104).
Eteocles 2 built a temple of the CHARITES, either for receiving
graces or for giving them or for both (says Strabo 9.2.40).
In the sanctuary, the CHARITES were worshipped in the form of stones that fell from heaven in the time of Eteocles 2 (Pau.9.38.1).
Others with identical names: Auxo 2 is one of the HORAE, Aglaia 2 is mother of Acrisius & Proetus 1, Aglaia 3 is one of the daughters of Thespius, Aglaia 4 is mother of a Trojan Leader, Aglaia 5 is mother of Melampus 1 and Bias 1, Thalia 2 is one of the MUSES, Thalia 3 is a Nereid, and Pasithea 1 is also one of the NEREIDS.