Mother of the Graces
Eurynome is an Okeanid, i.e. she is one of the three thousand daughters of Okeanos [Ocean] and Tethys.
Eurynome and Zeus are the parents of the three Graces: Euphrosyne, Aglaia and Thalia. The Graces are the attendants of Aphrodite [goddess of love] because they embody charm and beauty. Their names reflect their attributes: Aglaia [Splendor], Euphrosyne [Festivity], and Thalia [Rejoicing].
Eurynome and her consort Ophion were the first to occupy Mount Olympos but returned to the sea after they were forced off the mountain by the Titans, Kronos and Rheia.
Eurynome and the Nereid Thetis earned the eternal gratitude of the smith of the gods, Hephaistos, when they cared for him after he had been ejected from Mount Olympos. After a violent dispute with Hera, Zeus threw Hephaistos from Mount Olympos and he landed halfway across the Aegean Sea on the island of Lemnos. After finding the abandoned young god, Eurynome and Thetis cared for him but the terrible fall had injured Hephaistos's legs and left him permanently lame. The two goddesses nursed and raised Hephaistos in secret. They provided him with a cave where he could practice and perfect his craft until, after nine years, he returned to Mount Olympos to rejoin his mother and take his rightful place among the Olympians.
Eurynome in the Iliad
[from four different translations]
- Iliad - book 18, lines 398-399 - Hephaistos to his wife Charis: "Then my soul would have taken much suffering had not Eurynome and Thetis caught me and held me, Eurynome, daughter of Ocean, whose stream bends back in a circle."
- Iliad - book 18, line 405 - Hephaistos to his wife Charis: "No other among the gods or among mortal men knew about us except Eurynome and Thetis."
Loeb Classical Library
- Iliad - book 18, lines 398-399 - Hephaistos to his wife Charis: "Then I would have suffered woes at heart, if Eurynome and Thetis had not received me into their bosom—Eurynome, daughter of backward-flowing Oceanus."
- Iliad - book 18, line 405 - Hephaistos to his wife Charis: "Nor did any other know, either of gods or of mortal men, but Thetis and Eurynome, they who saved me."
- Iliad - book 18, line 466 - Hephaestus to his wife Charis: "What shattering anguish I'd suffered then if Thetis had taken me to her breast, Eurynome too, the daughter of Ocean's stream that runs around the world."
- Iliad - book 18, line 473 - Hephaestus to his wife Charis: "And no one knew. Not a single god or mortal, only Thetis and Eurynome knew—they saved me."
- Iliad - book 18, lines 462-463 - Hêphaistos to his wife Grace: "That would have been a dangerous time, had not Thetis and Eurýnomê taken me in—Eurýnomê, daughter of the tidal Ocean."
- Iliad - book 18, line 469 - Hêphaistos to his wife Grace: "Only Thetis knew, and Eurýnomê, the two who saved me."
Other Text References
- line 358 - Eurynome is listed with her sisters as the daughters of Tethys and Okeanos [Ocean].
- line 908 - And Eurynome, the daughter of Okeanos [Ocean], beautiful in form, bare him [Zeus] three fair-cheeked Charites [Graces], Aglaia, and Euphrosyne, and lovely Thaleia, from whose eyes as they glanced flowed love that unnerves the limbs: and beautiful is their glance beneath their brows.
The Argonautika by Apollonius Rhodius
- book 1, line 504 - He [Orpheus] sang how the earth, the heaven and the sea, once mingled together in one form, after deadly strife were separated each from other; and how the stars and the moon and the paths of the sun ever keep their fixed place in the sky; and how the mountains rose, and how the resounding rivers with their Nymphs came into being and all creeping things. And he sang how first of all Ophion and Eurynome, daughter of Okeanos [Ocean], held the sway of snowy Olympos, and how through strength of arm one yielded his prerogative to Kronos and the other to Rheia, and how they fell into the waves of Okeanos; but the other two meanwhile ruled over the blessed Titan-Gods, while Zeus, still a child and with the thoughts of a child, dwelt in the Diktaean cave; and the earthborn Cyclopes had not yet armed him with the bolt, with thunder and lightning; for these things give renown to Zeus.
Description of Greece by Pausanias
- book 8 [Arkadia], 41.4 - Some twelve stades [approximately 1.4 miles or 2.2 kilometers] above Phigalia are hot baths, and not far from these the Lymax falls into the Neda. Where the streams meet is the sanctuary of Eurynome, a holy spot from of old and difficult of approach because of the roughness of the ground. Around it are many cypress trees, growing close together.
- book 8 [Arkadia], 41.5 - Eurynome is believed by the people of Phigalia to be a surname of Artemis. Those of them, however, to whom have descended ancient traditions, declare that Eurynome was a daughter of Okeanos [Ocean], whom Homer mentions in the Iliad [book 18, line 398 - Loeb, Lattimore, Green translations], saying that along with Thetis she received Hephaistos. On the same day in each year they open the sanctuary of Eurynome, but at any other time it is a transgression for them to open it.
- book 8 [Arkadia], 41.6 - On this occasion sacrifices also are offered by the state and by individuals. I did not arrive at the season of the festival, and I did not see the image of Eurynome; but the Phigalians told me that golden chains bind the wooden image, which represents a woman as far as the hips, but below this a fish. If she is a daughter of Okeanos [Ocean], and lives with Thetis in the depth of the sea, the fish may be regarded as a kind of emblem of her. But there could be no probable connection between such a shape and Artemis.
- book 9 [Boeotia], 35.5 - Hesiod in Theogony [lines 358 and 908], though the authorship is doubtful, this poem is good evidence, says that the Graces are daughters of Zeus and Eurynome, giving them the names of Euphrosyne, Aglaia and Thalia. The poem of Onomakritos agrees with this account. Antimachos, while giving neither the number of the Graces nor their names, says that they are daughters of Aegle and Helios [Sun]. The elegiac poet Hermesianax disagrees with his predecessors in that he makes Peitho [Persuasion] also one of the Graces.
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