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The Graces, The Fates and The Muses

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The Graces

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In Greek mythology, a Charis (Ancient Greek: Χάρις, pronounced [kʰáris]) is one of several Charites /ˈkærɨtiːz/ (Χάριτες, [kʰáritɛːs]; Greek: "Graces"), goddesses of charm, beauty, nature, human creativity and fertility. They ordinarily numbered three, from youngest to oldest: Aglaea ("Splendor"), Euphrosyne ("Mirth"), and Thalia ("Good Cheer"). In Roman mythology they were known as the Gratiae, the "Graces". In some variants Charis was one of the Graces and was not the singular form of their name.
The Charites were usually considered the daughters of Zeus and Eurynome, though they were also said to be daughters of Dionysus and Aphrodite or of Helios and the naiad Aegle. Other possible names of their mother by Zeus are Eurydome, Eurymedousa, and Euanthe. Homer wrote that they were part of the retinue of Aphrodite. The Charites were also associated with the Greek underworld and the Eleusinian Mysteries.
The river Cephissus near Delphi was sacred to them.

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The Fates

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The Moirae, Moerae or Moirai (in Greek Μοῖραι – the "apportioners", often called The Fates), in Greek mythology, were the white-robed incarnations of destiny (Roman equivalent: Parcae, euphemistically the "sparing ones", or Fata; also equivalent to the Germanic Norns). Their number became fixed at three. The Greek word moira (μοῖρα) literally means a part or portion of the whole, and by extension one's portion in life or destiny, which consisted of bad and good moments that were distributed by the Fates, They controlled the metaphorical thread of life of every mortal from birth to death, and it was impossible for anyone to act over his own destiny.
In the Homeric poems Moira or Aisa (Fate) represents a power related with the limit and end of life, and is acting in parallel with the gods.Later in the Theogony of Hesiod the Moirae represent a power acting over the gods. In Greek mythology they are daughters of Zeus and Themis, who was the embodiment of divine order, social order and law. Later in Orphic cosmogony, they are daughters of the primeval goddess Ananke, "necessity".
In earliest Greek philosophy, Anaximander combines these mythical ideas with the balancing of opposite powers as central to reality. The goddess Dike (justice, divine retribution), keeps the order and sets a limit to any actions.
The concept of Moira conformed with the Greek desire to discern an order in the univese, to which even the gods have to comply. The ancient Greek writers called this power Moira (Fate), Ananke (necessity), or combined both in a scheme.
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When they were three, the three Moirae were:
▪ Clotho ( /ˈkloʊθoʊ/, Greek Κλωθώ [klɔːˈtʰɔː] – "spinner") spun the thread of life from her distaff onto her spindle. Her Roman equivalent was Nona, (the 'Ninth'), who was originally a goddess called upon in the ninth month of pregnancy.
▪ Lachesis ( /ˈlækɨsɪs/, Greek Λάχεσις [ˈlakʰesis] – "allotter" or drawer of lots) measured the thread of life allotted to each person with her measuring rod. Her Roman equivalent was Decima (the 'Tenth').
▪ Atropos ( /ˈætrəpɒs/, Greek Ἄτροπος [ˈatropos] – "inexorable" or "inevitable", literally "unturning", sometimes called Aisa) was the cutter of the thread of life. She chose the manner of each person's death; and when their time was come, she cut their life-thread with "her abhorred shears". Her Roman equivalent was Morta ('Death').




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The Muses

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The Muses (Ancient Greek αἱ μοῦσαι, hai moũsai:[1] perhaps from the o-grade of the Proto-Indo-European root *men- "think") in Greek mythology, poetry, and literature, are the goddesses who inspire the creation of literature and the arts. They were considered the source of the knowledge, related orally for centuries in the ancient culture, that was contained in poetic lyrics and myths. The compliment to a real woman who inspires creative endeavor is a later idea.

In Boeotia, the homeland of Hesiod, a tradition persisted[3] that the Muses had once been three in number. Diodorus Siculus, quotes Hesiod to the contrary, observing:
Writers similarly disagree also concerning the number of the Muses; for some say that there are three, and others that there are nine, but the number nine has prevailed since it rests upon the authority of the most distinguished men, such as Homer and Hesiod and others like them.[4]
Three ancient Muses were also reported in Plutarch's Quaestiones Conviviviales (9.I4.2-4).[5] The Roman scholar Varro relates that there are only three Muses: one who is born from the movement of water, another who makes sound by striking the air, and a third who is embodied only in the human voice. They were Melete or Practice, Mneme or Memory and Aoide or Song.
However the Classical understanding of the muses tripled their triad, set at nine goddesses, who embody the arts and inspire creation with their graces through remembered and improvised song and stage, writing, traditional music, and dance.

It was said that the winged horse Pegasus touched his hooves to the ground on Helicon, causing four sacred springs to burst forth, from which the muses were born.They were the daughters of the Titan Mnemosyne (Goddess of memory) and Zeus

The muses would entertain the gods on Mount Olympus together with the Graces. They won over the Sirens in a song competition and got their feathers as a price. In art, the muses were often depicted with these feathers in their hair.
From the muses came the words music, bemused, museum and amused derived.
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Muse.............Domain....................Emblem
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Calliope.........Epic poetry..............Writing tablet
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Clio..............History....................Scrolls
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Erato............Love poetry...............Cithara (an ancient
............................................Greek musical instrument
............................................ in the lyre family)
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Euterpe..........Song and.............
...................Elegiac poetry...........Aulos (an ancient Greek
............................................ musical instrument like a
.............................................flute)
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Melpomene.....Tragedy...................Tragic mask
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Polyhymnia.....Hymns.....................Veil
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Terpsichore......Dance.....................Lyre
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Thalia.............Comedy..................Comic mask
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Urania............Astronomy...............Globe and compass



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