Aglaia

Portrait of Aglaia Coronio by Dante Gabriel Rossetti

Origin: Greek
Gender: Female
Meaning: "Splendour, beauty"
Pronunciation: ah-GLAH-ee-uh, eh-GLY-uh, eh-GLY-ee-uh
"Les Trois Grâces" by Carle Van Loo
Other forms: Aglaea, Aglaya, Aglaé, Aglaja


Ever since I was little I've had an obsession with Greek mythology, which then eventually translated into a love for Greek names, and also Latin and Roman names. They have such a rich history and oftentimes a great meaning and wonderful sound, which to me produces undeniably beautiful names.

And this name is no different. Aglaia, which means "splendour" or beauty", is also the name of the youngest of the Charites, or Graces, from mythology, all minor Goddesses that represented beauty, charm, nature, etc. They were said to be the daughters of Zeus and Eurynome, though othertimes they are the daughters of Aphrodite and Dionysus, or Helios and Aegle, a naiad.

Aglaia is also the name of a genus of more than 390 species of trees belonging to the mahogany family.

Though rare, there are a few people have borne the name. There is an Austrian actress named Aglaia Szyszkowitz, and a Saint Aglaia, Aglaia Yepanchin from "The Idiot", and Aglaia Coronio, who was a bookbinder, embroiderer, art collector and patron. She was a confidante to William Morris and a friend to Rossetti. Aglaia and her cousins Maria Spartali Stillman and Maria Zambaco were nicknamed "the Three Graces" by those closest to them.

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