Euphrosyne (mythology)

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A statue of Euphrosyne in Achilleion palace, Corfu.

Euphrosyne (/juːˈfrɒzn/; Εὐφροσύνη), in ancient Greek religion, was one of the Charites, known in English as the "Three Graces". She was usually called Euthymia (Ευθυμια).[1]

Greek mythology[edit]

According to Greek myth, the Charites were daughters of Zeus and the Oceanid Eurynome. The Greek poet Pindar states that these goddesses were created to fill the world with pleasant moments and good will. Usually the Graces attended the goddess of beauty Aphrodite and her companion Eros and loved dancing around in a circle to Apollo's divine music, together with the Nymphs and the Muses.

Euphrosyne is also the Goddess of Joy or Mirth, a daughter of Zeus and Eurynome, and the incarnation of grace and beauty. The other two Charites are Thalia (Good Cheer) and Aglaea (Beauty or Splendor).

In art and literature[edit]

She can be seen along with the other two Graces at the left of the painting in Botticelli's Primavera. The sculptor Antonio Canova made a well-known piece in white marble representing the three Graces, in several copies including one for John Russell, 6th Duke of Bedford.[2]

Her best remembered representation in English is in Milton's poem of the active, joyful life, "L'Allegro". John Milton invoked her in the poem L'Allegro.[3]

In science[edit]

The asteroid 31 Euphrosyne is named after the goddess, as is the Euphrosinidae family of marine worms.


  1. ^ Pindar, Fragment 155
  2. ^ The Three Graces. Victoria & Albert Museum, 2013. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  3. ^ "Milton, L'Allegro and Il Penseroso"