Goddess Nike

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Goddess Nike – Goddess of Victory

goddess Nike statueThe goddess Nike was the goddess of victory in Ancient Greece. Her equivalent in Ancient Rome was the goddess Victoria.

Nike is a personification of victory. She represented ultimate success and triumph. The goddess Nike is all about winning, being number one.

The image of the goddess Nike is found on Olympic Medals.

She is portrayed as a young woman with golden wings. This goddess can fly.

The goddess Nike is often shown with a palm branch or wreath symbolizing peace and victory. She is also often seen with a staff. This staff represents the staff of Hermes and is the messenger staff. This message is victory.

Nike can also be seen with different objects. She sometimes carries a kithara (lyre). Other times she may hold a cup or an incense burner. Sometimes she holds a flower, other times a sash.

She is also often displayed as a charioteer.

goddess Victoria
Goddess Victoria on top of the Queen Victoria Memorial in front of Buckingham Palace, London

Images of Nike were found all over the place in Ancient Greece. She was an absolute

favorite image on coins. Alexander the Great, one of the greatest conquerors of all time had her image on his gold coin.

The goddess Nike and the goddess Victoria as they called her in Ancient Rome are not forgotten. She is to this day much used as a symbol of victory.

Monuments of this winged goddess are found all over Europe and also in many places in North America.

Many people choose to have a statue of Nike in their home. A statue of the goddess of victory serves as a good reminder to never give up and you will have your day of glory and huge success.

These statues seem to be most popular among athletes, though people from all walks of life have started to realize the powerful symbolism of being unbeatable, being the best in their chosen field.

Some choose to have an amulet or a coin with her image as a lucky talisman on their quest to reach the top of their arena.




Goddess Nike – Family Background

Reief of goddess Nike
Relief of the goddess Nike at Ephesus, Turkey

The goddess Nike was the daughter of the Titans Pallas and Styx.

Pallas and Styx had four children: Kratos (strength), Bia (force/energy), Zelus (eagerness/zeal), and Nike (victory).

Not much is known about Pallas, the father of Nike. He plays a minor role in Greek mythology.

Styx (mother of Nike) was the daughter of Oceanus. Oceanus (grandfather of Nike) was the son of Uranus and Gaia. He was the god of the ocean. Oceanus and his wife Tethys were the parents of the river gods and the three thousand Oceanids.

Styx assisted Zeus in his battle against the Titans. Her contribution in this matter was honored by making her the protector of oaths. All deities would make their binding oaths on Styx hereafter.

She was also made the goddess of the river Styx which surrounded Hades, the Underworld. The goddess Styx had mighty influence of the waters of the river. It was believed that the water had magical powers. Anyone who bathed in it would become invulnerable.  

The Titans were the giant deities created by the union of Uranus (the sky) and Gaia (the earth). They ruled the earth in the beginning of age.

The head Titan was Cronos (in Ancient Rome he was called Saturn) who came into power after he castrated his father Uranus. Cronus married his sister Rhea Cronus became a tyrant ruler. Zeus, his youngest son decided to overthrow his father. Zeus and his siblings represented the new gods.

The new gods went to war against the Titans. The war lasted ten years. Not all Titans were involved in the war. The grandparents of Nike, Oceanus and Tethys stayed out of the war. Styx (her mother) sided with Zeus.

goddess Athena goddess Nike
The Athena statue situated in front of the Austrian Parliament. Athena is dressed in armor with a gilded helmet, her right carries the goddess Nike.

It is told that when the goddess Nike got involved and sided with Zeus and the new god rulers, victory was a done deal. There was now no way they could lose.

Zeus became the new ruling supreme god. He married his sister Hera. In Roman mythology Zeus is called Jupiter and Hera is called Juno. The new gods went to live on mount Olympus.

The goddess Nike became a companion of Zeus and the goddess Athena (Minerva in Roman mythology).

Athena was the daughter of Zeus and goddess of war, wisdom, civilization and science.

Athena was sometimes shown with the goddess Nike on her hand. Together they were unbeatable.