Euphrosyne (/jˈfrɒzɪn/; Ancient Greek: Εὐφροσύνη), in ancient Greek religion; (you-frah-ZIN-ee) and mythology, was one of the Charites, known in ancient Rome as the Gratiae (Graces). She was sometimes called Euthymia (Εὐθυμία) or Eutychia (Εὐτυχία).[2]

Goddess of good cheer, joy and mirth
Member of The Charites
Major cult centreBoeotia
AbodeMount Olympus
Personal information
ParentsZeus and Eurynome
Nyx and Erebus[1]
by Zeus and Eurynome


According to Hesiod, Euphrosyne and her sisters Thalia and Aglaea were daughters of Zeus and the Oceanid Eurynome.[3] Alternative parentage may be Zeus and Eurydome, Eurymedousa, or Euanthe;[4] Dionysus and Kronois;[5] or Helios and the Naiad Aegle.[6]

In some accounts, Euphrosyne was a daughter of the primordial gods, Erebus (Darkness) and Nyx (Night).[7]

"From Nox/ Nyx (Night) and Erebus [were born]: Fatum/ Moros (Fate), Senectus/ Geras (Old Age), Mors/ Thanatos (Death), Letum (Dissolution), Continentia (Moderation), Somnus/ Hypnos (Sleep), Somnia/ Oneiroi (Dreams), Amor (Love)--that is Lysimeles, Epiphron (Prudence), Porphyrion, Epaphus, Discordia/ Eris (Discord), Miseria/ Oizys (Misery), Petulantia/ Hybris (Wantonness), Nemesis (Envy), Euphrosyne (Good Cheer), Amicitia/ Philotes (Friendship), Misericordia/ Eleos (Compassion), Styx (Hatred); the three Parcae/ Moirai (Fates), namely Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos; the Hesperides."[8]

Mrs Mary Hale as Euphrosyne, painted by Joshua Reynolds


Euphrosyne is a Goddess of Good Cheer, Joy and Mirth.[9] Her name is the female version of a Greek word euphrosynos, which means "merriment". The Greek poet Pindar states that these goddesses were created to fill the world with pleasant moments and good will.[10] Usually the Charites attended the goddess of beauty Aphrodite.[11]

In art, Euphrosyne is usually depicted with her sisters dancing.[9]

Euphrosyne (left) depicted with her sisters on The Three Graces sculpture at the Hermitage, Saint Petersburg, Russia

Cults of EuphrosyneEdit

Euphrosyne and her sisters' main cult was located in Athens, Sparta, or Boetia.[12][9]


In art and literatureEdit

In scienceEdit

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


  1. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae Preface
  2. ^ Pindar, fr. 155
  3. ^ Hesiod, Theogony 907
  4. ^ Cornutus, Compendium of Greek Theology 15
  5. ^ Nonnus, Dionysiaca 15.87 & 48.530
  6. ^ Pausanias, Graeciae Descriptio 9.35.5
  7. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae Preface
  8. ^ Hyginus, Fabulae Preface
  9. ^ a b c Larson, Jennifer (2007). Ancient Greek Cults. New York, NY: Routledge. pp. 162–163. ISBN 978-0415491020.
  10. ^ Pindar, Olympian Ode 14.1-20
  11. ^ Homeric Hymn 5 to Aphrodite, 58
  12. ^ "". Retrieved 2016-08-31.
  13. ^ The Three Graces. Victoria & Albert Museum, 2013. Retrieved 2 May 2013.
  14. ^ "Milton, L'Allegro and Il Penseroso"