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THE KHARITES (Charites) or Graces were three goddesses of grace, beauty, adornment, joy, mirth, festivity, dance, and song.
See the fact file below for more information on the Graces or alternatively, you can download our 21-page The Graces worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- The most common account about the Graces makes them the daughters of Zeus either by Hera, Eurynome, Eunomia, Eurydomene, Harmonia, or Lethe.
- According to others, they were the daughters of Apollo by Aegle or Euanthe, or of Dionysus by Aphrodite or Coronis.
- Hesiod distinctly mentions three Graces, whose names are Euphrosyne, Aglaia, and Thaleia.
- The Spartans had only two Graces, Cleta and Phaënna. The Athenians also had two, Auxo and Hegemone, who were worshipped there from the earliest times. Hermesianax added Peitho as a third.
APPEARANCE AND ROLES
- The character and nature of the Graces are expressed by the names they bear — conceived as the goddesses who gave festive joy and enhanced life by refinement and gentleness.
- Gracefulness and beauty in social intercourse are, therefore, attributed to them.
- They are mostly described in the service or attendance of other divinities. Real joy exists only in circles where the individual gives up self and whose main objective is to afford pleasure to others.
- Their character is that of unsuspicious maidens in the full bloom of life, and they usually embrace one another.
- They lend their grace and beauty to everything that delights and elevates gods and men.
- The most perfect works of art are called the works of the Graces, and the greatest artists are their favourites.
- As companions of Aphrodite, they are usually shown linked together in a ring, forming a chain with their poses.
- They entertained the gods by dancing to the music of Apollo’s lyre, an ancient stringed musical instrument.
- At times, the Graces were considered the official goddesses of music, dance, and poetry. Poetry, however, is the art which is especially favoured by them, whence they are called erasimolpoi or philêsimolpoi.
- As attendants of Aphrodite, they were goddesses of personal beauty and the adornments which enhanced this — makeup, oils, perfumes, fine clothing, and jewellery.
- Kharis as the wife of Hephaestus represented beauty in crafted objects and artistic adornment.
GRACES IN CONTEXT
- The Graces meant to embody the characteristics that ancient Greeks considered attractive in young women.
- The ideal young woman was not only beautiful, but also a source of good cheer and brightness of spirit.
- Ladies were expected to never show an ill mood because it was considered an ugly quality that would repel any possible suitors.
- The Graces provided inspiration to great artists.
- Most works of art portray them with their hands entwined and their bodies either nude or partially draped with flowing robes.
- The Graces have been painted by Raphael, Rubens, and Paul Cezanne among others, and appear in a well-known sculpture by Antonio Canova.
- In ancient Greece, the Graces functioned as role models for young women, offering an example of ideal behaviors and qualities.
CULT OF THE GRACES
- The Graces were the subject of cult worship across the Greek world, especially in southern Greece and Asia Minor.
- They were important at Orchomenus in Arcadia where they had an annual festival, the Charitesia, held in their honour.
- Pausanias also mentioned that they were associated with meteorites or shooting stars.
- The historian goes on to list various names of Graces at different cities, for example, Auxo and Hegemone at Athens, and Kleta and Phaenna at Sparta.
The Graces Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Graces across 21 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use The Graces worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the KHARITES (Charites) or Graces which were three goddesses of grace, beauty, adornment, joy, mirth, festivity, dance, and song.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Graces Facts
- Greek Deities
- Joy & Favor
- Beauty & Adornment
- Festivity, Dance, & Song
- Roses & Garlands
- Daily Grace
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Link will appear as The Graces Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, October 4, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.