►Greek Mythology: “The Horae”:
The Horae were the goddesses of the seasons and the natural portions of time.
They were originally the personifications of nature in its different seasonal aspects, but in later times they were regarded as goddesses of order in general and natural justice.
Pursuant to Homer, who neither mentions their parents nor their number, they are the Olympian divinities of the weather and the ministers of Zeus; and in this capacity they guard the doors of Olympus, and promote the fertility of the earth, by the various kinds of weather they send down. Thy were also the ones who discovered Aphrodite soon after her sea-foam birth and saved her.
The Horae are mentioned in two senses in Hesiod’s “Theogony” and the Homeric Hymns.
These three Horae, (Thallo, Auxo and Carpo) were the daughters of Zeus and Themis. Thus they were also sisters of the Three Fates (or Moirai)
They were the goddesses of the three seasons the Greeks recognized: Spring (Thallo), Summer (Auxo) and Autumn (Carpo).
As the Horae were conceived to promote the prosperity of every thing that grows, they appear also as the protectresses of youth.
Jane Ellen Harrison asserts the existence of female trinities, discusses the Horae as chronological symbols representing the phases of the Moon and goes on to equate the Horae with the Seasons, the Graces and the Fates and the three seasons of the ancient Greek year.
The Hora of Spring, Thallo, accompanied Persephone every year on her ascent from Hades’ Underworld to meet his mother Demeter. According to one of the Homeric Hymns, the attributes of spring-flowers, fragrance, and graceful freshness are accordingly transferred to the Horae; thus they adorned Aphrodite as she rose from the sea, made a garland of flowers for Pandora, and even inanimate things are described as deriving peculiar charms from the Horae.
►Second Triad: In this variant, emphasising the “right order” aspect of the Horae. They were three Goddesses called Dike, Eunomia, and Eirene.
These three Horae were law-and-order goddesses that maintained the stability of society and were worshipped primarily in the cities of Athens, Argos and Olympia.
•Eunomia was the goddess of law and legislation. The same or a different goddess may have been a daughter of Hermes and Aphrodite.
•Dike was he goddess of moral justice: she ruled over human justice, as her mother Themis ruled over divine justice. According to myths, Zeus placed her on earth to keep mankind just, he quickly learned this was impossible and placed her next to him on Olympus, as the Greek constellation called The Maiden.
•Eirene was the personification of peace and wealth.
•Note regarding the number of Horae: The number of the Horae differs according to the sources, though the most ancient number seems to have been two (Thallo and Carpo). But afterwards their common number was three.
Quintus Smyrnaeus makes Helios and Selene (the Sun and Moon) the parents of the Horae, goddesses of the seasons.
In this account of Helios’ myth, the Horae were the four handmaidens of Hera (Zeus’ wife). According to this version, their names were: Eiar (Spring), Theros (Summer), Phthinoporon (Autumn), and Cheimon (Winter).
Hyginus (Fab. 183) is in great confusion respecting the number and names of the Horae, as he mixes up the original names with surnames, and the designations of separate seasons or hours. In this manner he first makes out a list of ten Horae (Titanis, Auxo, Eunomia, Pherusa, Carpo, Dice, Euporia, Eirene, Orthosia, and Thallo), and a second of eleven (Auge, Anatole, Musia, Gymnasia, Nymphes, Mesembria, Sponde, Telete, Acme, Cypridos, Dysis).
►Villa Dar Buc Ammera (Rome): Mosaic depicting the Seasons:
►In another different variant the Horae were not related with seasons but to the portions of time of the Day, twelve hours for the Ancient Greeks.
The ancient Greeks divided the hours of daylight into twelve portions, identified by the position of the sun in the sky.
In this sense, the Twelve Horae were Goddesses of the hours of the day and perhaps also of the twelve months of the year.
These Horae oversaw the path of the Sun-God Helios as he travelled across the sky, dividing the day into its portions.
The Twelve Horae were not always clearly distinguishable from the Horae of the Seasons, who were also described as overseeing the path of the sun.
Their names were:
•Auge, first light.
•Mousika, the morning hour of music and study.
•Gymnastika, the morning hour of gymnastics/exercise.
•Nymph, the morning hour of ablutions (bathing, washing).
•Sponde, libations poured after lunch.
•Elete, prayer, the first of the afternoon work hours.
•Akte, eating and pleasure, the second of the afternoon work hours.
•Arktos, night sky, constellation.
►Two Paintings by Sandro Botticelli (1444/1510), featuring the Seasons (Greek Horae):
1)”The Birth of Venus” by Sandro Botticelli (1486):
Description: The wind gods Boreas and Zephyrus waft the Goddess of Love to shore. There, one of the Horae, probably Thallo, who represented Spring, waits to receive Aphrodite (Venus) as she spreads out a flower covered robe in readiness for the Love Goddess’ arrival.
The picture hung in the country villa of the Medici along with “Primavera” (see painting below), indicating that the work was commissioned by the Medici family.
2) “Primavera”, by Sandro Botticelli (1482):
Zephyr pursued her and as she was ravished, flowers sprang from her mouth and she became transformed into Flora, goddess of flowers.
Aphrodite presides over the garden – an orange grove (a Medici symbol). She stands in front of the dark leaves of a myrtle, which was a sacred plant to her.
According to Botticelli, the woman in the flowered dress is Primavera (a personification of Spring thus probably link to Thallo) whose companion is Flora.
The Three Graces accompanying her are being targeted by Eros (Cupid in Roman Mythology).
In Greek Mythology, the Three Graces represent beauty, joy and plenty.
They are usually shown holding hands, smiling at each other or dancing, forming a close-knit group.
Hermes, the Greek god of herds and herald of the gods, keeps the garden safe from threatening clouds.
“A Great Post on Malala Yousafzai at When Women Inspire“:
I want to thank Christy Birmingham for letting me be part of her very special tribute to Malala Yousafzai… A girl who is an example of resistance and overcoming, who fights against extremism and inequality and who has recently become the youngest ever recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.
Please make sure to check out the post here: Spotlight on Women’s Rights Activist Malala Yousafzai
►Last but not Least: Challenge Workplace Blog Hop:
The main idea here is to spot the place where you usually blog. It aims to give other bloggers a general overview on your blogger workspace (just to satisfy their curious minds)…
So, with that purpose, I took some photos and attached them below.
Finally I’d like to invite the following five bloggers to join the challenge. Of course, as all the blog challenges, this one is not compulsory either…
The rules are basically to spot your personal blogging space through a few photos, to link back to the blogger who invited you and to invite a bunch of bloggers to join you. Enjoy it!, Aquileana :D