Goddess of Victory

Improvisation 2


Acrylic on canvas



Hesiod in his epic poem Θεογονία (Theogonia literally: The origin of the Gods) tells us:
Styx, daughter of Ocean, together with Pallant, produced from her ankle Zelu (rivalry) and Victoria (Nike), Biya and Kratos.

Next, we learn out that Styx with all the kids are the first to respond to Zeus' call to fight the Titans. Thus, the children become close to His Majesty's Zeus:)

Nike represents a victory and triumph, but it is important to understand - she is not the deliver of victory, only gives the winner, laying on his head a laurel wreath.

In iconography, Nike is represented by the winged one. There were also four winged versions of the Goddess, which testifies to the direct Middle Eastern roots of the deity.

In the classical Greek era, Nike becomes the close friend of the Athena and her role in the pantheon grows.

In the Hellenistic period, the goddess acquires even greater respect, as evidenced by the so-called Nika of Samothrace, found in the mid-19th century in the sanctuary of the Great Gods.

Then our Nika migrates to the pantheon of the Romans and even moves off some of them, such as Jupiter. Some Roman key characters like Silla, Caesar and Augustus introduce special festivities dedicated to Nike. And then even more interesting: Nika, unwilling, becomes a symbol of the struggle of paganism against oppression by Christian emperors. But, as we know, in the end the pagans were defeated, and the poor golden statue of Nika was let into the furnace.

The smile of history is that the attributes of the Goddess smoothly migrated (as well as many others) to a new religion. The wings of the Goddess were given to the angels, and a palm branch. The Romans had it with a laurel wreath and a palm branch… to the saints.

NIKE / Νίκη