Their number was generally limited, by the ancient poets, to three whose names were Euphrosyne, Thalia, and Aglaia; but they differed concerning their origin. Some suppose them to have been the offspring of Jupiter and Eunomia, daughter of Oceanus; but the most prevalent opinion is, that they were descended from Bacchus and Venus. According to Homer, Aglaia, the youngest, was married to Vulcan, and another of them to the god of Sleep. The Graces were companions of Mercury, Venus, and the Muses.
Festivals were celebrated in honor of them throughout the whole year. They were esteemed the dispensers of liberality, eloquence, and wisdom and from them were derived simplicity of manners, a graceful deportment, and gaiety of disposition. From their inspiring acts of gratitude and mutual kindness they were described as uniting hand in hand with each other. The ancients partook of but few repasts without invoking them, as well as the Muses.
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