Gratiae, Charites, Graces

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The Gratiae are the goddesses of nature and vegetation, beauty, human creativity, goodwill, in Roman mythology, equivalent to the Greek Charites.

They are also the goddesses of the joy of life and infuse the joy of Nature into the hearts of gods and mortals. The goddesses connected to the Charites varied in name and number, although they often numbered three (Aglaea, Shining; Euphrosyne, Joy; and Thalia, Blooming). The Charites’ worship had a long history, and its name appears to have pre-Greek or Pelasgian origins rather than being a Proto-Indo-European import. Their cult’s goals seem to be comparable to those of nymphs, with a focus on reproduction and the natural world, with a special affinity for springs and rivers.

Featured image: The Three Graces, from Sandro Botticelli’s painting Primavera in the Uffizi Gallery

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