According to Greek Mythology, Nike God was the goddess of power, speed, and victory. Also, she is portrayed as having wings, and mostly, known as a winged Goddess.
Nike was the child of Pallas (Titan) and Styx. Styx, the name is from the name of the river that divides earth from the Gates of hell. The name River Styx appeared because of Nike’s grandfather Tethys. Before the Titan War, Zeus was gathering his allies, and then Styx brought her four children Zelos (Rivalry), Bia (Force), Kratos (Cratus Strength), and Nike (Victory) into the god’s assistance. Nike was selected as the charioteer of Zeus, and together they four became lookouts of Zeus’ throne.
Ancient Greeks worshiped Nike deeply and believed that she could earn them never die and was able to give human strength and speed to be successful in any work they want to do. According to Roman Mythology, Nike was familiar as Victoria after Greece collapsed to the Roman Empire. Generally, Nike emerges with Zeus on statues in the Temple of Zeus in Attica and on the west arcade of the Temple of Athena in Athens.Nike always had wings and wore a palm branch in her right hand when she appeared alone. When Nike came up with another god, then Nike was always wingless.
Nike was described without wings in Athens so that she could never fly away from their city as the Athenians loved Nike from the bottom of their heart and thought she was the goddess of blessing and pour blessing always for the Athenians. A sculpture of Nike known as “Nike of Samothrace” was kept at the Louvre Museum in Paris in 1863. Most Greeks believe that from 550 BCE, the oldest sculpture of Nike was seen on the Greek island of Delos.
The maximum sculptures of Nike were made from the essence of a piece of wood encased in gold and ivory. One of them is about 29 feet tall. In the many sculptures of Zeus and Athena, it is seen that they hold a little figure of Nike in their right hand. In pictures, sculptures, and other art media where Nike had been represented wearing a flowing gown of gold and her wings expressing her right to grant victory.
Nike was known as the goddess of peace too. For this reason, she always carried a palm branch in her right hand, and it was a symbol of peace. Another thing is Nike always carried a wreath as it is ready to crown a winner in fight or games of challenge. When Nike was picturized with the staff of Harmes, that symbolizes that Nike had another role in serving the gods as the messenger of them. Nike’s holding wreath signifies that she was always ready to embay a winner’s shoulder and neck in a wreath of victory as she was the goddess of the Victory.
Nike was also shown with a pitcher or cup and a bowl from which a triumph toast was exhausted. Nike was introduced with a shield in the arts, and she engraved each conqueror’s name of a battle on it.
The word Nike came out of unknown etymology. R. S. P. Beekes explained, most probably, the origin of the name Nike was from a Pre-Greek. At the same time, other linguistics of the Greeks related it to Proto-Indo-European. Also, they cognate this name with Ancient Greek “neikos” the meaning of the word in Lithuanian language is “to attack.”
Nike is the daughter of the goddess Styx and the Titan Pallas. She had three sisters, and they were Kratos (Strength), Zelus (Zeal), and Bia (Force). Poseidon was the grandfather of Nike.
Styx, the daughter of Ocean was joined to Pallas and gave birth Zelus (Emulation) and trim-ankled Nike (Victory) in the house. Also, Styx gave birth to Pallas excellent children like Kratos (Strength) and Bia (Force). Some myths claimed that Nike was the daughter of Ares, the god of war.
Mythology (Nike God)
Nike and her sisters were so close companions of Zeus, the dominant deity of the Greek pantheon, before the beginning of the Titan War. According to the classical myth, Styx brought her four children to Zeus while the god was gathering allies for the battle of Titan against the older divinities.
Nike was considered the position of the god’s charioteer, and with this role, she was always described in classical Greek art. Nike flew around the battlegrounds with glory and fame by rewarding the conquerors of the battle, and that was symbolized by a wreath of laurel petals.
Nike Daughter of Styx (Nike God)
Pallas was the ancient Greek god of Battle and the Oceanid Styx. Nike was the daughter of second-generation Titan Pallas. The meaning of the name Nike is Victory, and Victoria was the equivalent word to Nike in Roman. As Nike was the goddess of victory, she was closely related to contests, warfare, and athletics. Therefore, Nike was introduced in the arts like a gorgeous woman with a lyre in hand, a wreath, to celebrate victory, and a cup and a bowl for gifts to honor the gods.
Nike in the Titanomachy
The most famous tale about Nike comes to eyes in the story of Zeus when the god was assembling his allies to fight against his father and the other Titans. Zeus sends his word out to all his allies with the promises of honor and power for those who would help him to fight the Titans. At that time, Styx was the first goddess who was stood on the side of Zeus and brought here four children to assist Zeus. During the following war, the Titanomachy, Nike would serve as the charioteer of Zeus, by guiding and leading his horses and chariots throughout the battlefields.
Finally, the goddess of Victory confirmed to be on the winning side, and Zeus took the cloak of supreme deity from his father. After the war, the assistance of Nike and her sibling was praised highly by Zeus and honored by a constant dwelling on Mount Olympus.
Nike God the Charioteer
Nike was roled as the charioteer of Zeus during the war of the Giants, and also, the war of uprising of Typhon. The revolution of Typhon seemed that a great threat to the existence of Mount Olympus as like as all the Greek gods and goddesses flee from Olympus. In that situation, Nike would offer easy words to Zeus and encourage and tell him Zeus definitely win in the war. After the war, Nike was attached to the Greek goddess of wisdom and strategy, Athena.
The Goddess Nike in Antiquity and Today
The statues related to Nike were constructed to memorialize victories in battles like the statue The Winged Nike of Samothrace. Even in the 20th century, the value of Nike on statues advanced for the Greek goddess was sculpted as part of the real Jules Rimet champion trophy for football’s world cup.
In today’s world, the metaphors of the goddess Nike, and her stories are being highly esteemed. Also, there is a well-known sportswear brand named Nike came from the name of the goddess. At the same time, there are many statues of Nike that are still noticeable at remarkable places like on the top of the Brandenburg Gate and the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel in Paris, and they all are remembered with due respect to the goddess.
Always Nike is shown with wings in most sculptures and paintings, with one of the most notable sculptures is the Winged Victory of Samothrace in the Louvre. There were other winged deities in the Greek pantheon, they all had spread their wing by Classical times. Nike is the goddess of speed, strength, and victory.
Nike had a so close acquaintance with Athena. For this reason, Nike had stood in Athena’s wide hand in the statue of Athena that is located in the Parthenon. At the same time, Nike is one of the most portrayed figures on Greek coins. Among the eye-catching artistic representations of Nike, the sculpture of Nike by Paeonius is a great one. Another one was discovered in 1863 on Samothrace in the reminder of the sea combat about 203 BC, and now it is in the Louvre Museum, Paris.
According to the excavations report, the sculpture was set in the ground in such a way that it seemed to float on the ground. After getting the victory at the war of Marathon, Athenians constructed the Nike of Callimachus.
Nike’s sculptures were amazingly praised in Ancient Greece and had been used not only in secular public spaces but also in temples with other gods. She was often presented as a little sculpture in the hand of Zeus and Athena.
Nike was portrayed by famous athletes, as the symbol of their victories. Her sculpture represented in the temples as well as public places to celebrate victories in any contests or war. There were seldom shrines that were seen dedicated individually to her, but she was portrayed in many sculptures, including the cults of other gods, most importantly, Athena and Zeus. According to Pausanias, there was a shrine solely to Nike in Olympia close to the altar of Zeus Purifier.