Mimi Liu Period 2
Nike, Goddess of Victory

Most celebrated statue of Nike, called "The Winged Victory of Samothrace"


Nike, which means victory, is a Greek mythological character. Nike is a female goddess. Although relatively unknown compared to other Olympian deities, she plays an important role in the Titan War. Nike currently resides with Zeus on Mt. Olympus with many other gods and goddesses. She has no known individual, special festivals or temples celebrating her honor, although she shares a temple with Athena in the Acropolis.
Mythology often illustrates Nike as having wings, carrying a palm branch, a wreath. "She is seen with wings in most statues and paintings, to remind people that victory is fleeting." ("Nike (Mythology)") Nike appears carrying a palm branch, wreath, or a caduceus of Hermes in works of art. Many times, Greek art shows Nike hovering over competitions or wars with outspread wings over the victor. ("Nike, Goddess of Victory in Ancient Greece") While Nike could be inconsistent on giving out victories, she is a very fast runner, flyer, and charioteer. ("Nike") Nike and her symbol tells us that the Greeks were very competitive and held victories in the highest esteem.

Titan Pallas
Oceanid (Sea Nymph) Styx

Nike was the daughter of the Titan Pallas, the titan god of warcraft, and the Oceanid, or sea nymph, Styx. ("Mythography") Her brothers includeZelos (Rivalry), Kratos (Strength), and Bia (force). Her origin is told by Hesiod in his epic poem, The Theogony.

She has not been married, or have been involved with anyone. With no spouses, children, or "scrabble partners", Nike resides at Mount Olympus with the other gods and goddesses.

Olympians vs. Titans

Symbolizes / Personifies
Nike personifies victory and triumph. She is the Goddess of strength, speed, and victory. Although she has no known special powers of herself, in myths, she is seen rewarding the victors of the Titan War.

Greek sculptors depicted Nike as a tiny winged figure perching on another god's arm, peeping out from a fellow god's clothes or flying above like a winged fairy. ("Nike (mythology)")

Nike is most closely associated with Athena . "She is very often found in the company of the goddess Athena, who never puts up with defeat. Not surprisingly, she is also frequently portrayed seated next to Zeus , the King of the Olympians, or even being held by him in his open palm ." (

-Hesiod, a farmer in Boeotia in 8 BCE, a region of central Greece, wrote The Theogony which was an epic poem with over 1,000 lines. (Hugh G., Evelyn-White) Like Homer's Illiad and The Odyssey, Hesiod's The Theogony is an important source for Greek mythology because The Theogony depicts the origins of the gods. "It is the Genesis of Greek mythology. It gives the clearest presentation of the Greek pagan creation myth, starting with the creatrix goddesses Chaos and Earth, from whom descended all the gods and men;" (Hare). In his poem, he mentions many, many important figurines in Greek culture, such as individual gods and goddesses, half gods, and epic heroes. According to Hesoid, Nike was the daughter of the giant, Titan, and the sea nymph, Styx, along with her brothers and sisters, Zelos (Rivalry), Kratos (Strength, and Bia (force). During the Titan War, the Oceanid Styx brought her children to Zeus, when he was gathering support in the war against the Titans. (Hesiod, Lines 383-403) In Greek art, Nike came to Zeus 's aide, becoming his chariot driver in the war. (Atsma) During the War, Nike would fly over the battle and reward victors when they won.

Modern Culture

Nike_coupons.jpg Temple of Athena and Nike was built around 427 BC and completed around the Peloponnesian war. The amibtion to build a temple worshipping victory was the Athen's desire to defeat Sparta and become a world power. Athenians could "worship the goddesses of victory in hope of prosperous outcomes in the war's endeavours." ("Temple of Athena-Nike,")
-The shoe manufacturer "Nike" is most likely named after the goddess.
- On the first FIFA World Cup trophy, also known as the Jules Rimet trophy, the design is of Nike with a vessel.
-Every Olympic medal has Nike's figure with a palm frond in her left hand and a winner's crown in her right.
Project Nike is a system of anti aircraft missiles that was developed in the US
- Many works of literature such as "Kamichama Karin" by Koge-Donbo and "The Darkest Prison" by Gena Showalter, involves Nike.


Works Cited
Atsma, Aaron J. "NIKE : Greek Goddess of Victory, Mythology ; Pictures : NIC." THEOI GREEK MYTHOLOGY, Exploring Mythology & the Greek Gods in Classical Literature & Art. Web. 07 Mar. 2010. <http://www.theoi.com/Daimon/Nike.html>.
"Fast Facts On: Nike." About.com. New York Times Company. Web. 6 Mar. 2010. <www.about.com>.
Hare, John B. "The Works of Hesiod." Sacred-Texts.com. Web. 6 Mar. 2010. <http://www.sacred-texts.com/cla/hesiod/index.htm>.
"Mythography | The Greek Goddess Nike in Myth and Art." Loggia | Exploring the Arts and Humanities! Loggia.com. Web. 07 Mar. 2010. <http://www.loggia.com/myth/nike.html>.
"Nike - Nike, the Goddess of Victory- Fast Facts and Myths of Nike." Greece Travel - Travel to Greece. Web. 07 Mar. 2010. <http://gogreece.about.com/od/greekmythology/a/mythnike.htm>.
"Nike, Goddess of Victory in Ancient Greece." Role Of Woman in the Art of Ancient Greece. Web. 07 Mar. 2010. <http://www.fjkluth.com/nike.html>.
"Nike (mythology) - Everything on Nike (mythology) (information, Latest News, Articles,...)." Spiritus-Temporis.com - Historical Events, Latest News, News Archives. Web. 07 Mar. 2010. <http://www.spiritus-temporis.com/nike-mythology-/>
"Nike (Mythology): Facts, Discussion Forum, and Encyclopedia Article." AbsoluteAstronomy.com. Web. 07 Mar. 2010. <http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Nike_(mythology)>.
“Oceanid.” Enclyopaedia Britannica. 2010. Enclypaedia Britannica Online. 05 Mar. 2010 <http: www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic424564/Oceanid>
Pontikis, Nick. "Nike Page."
Thanasi's Olympus Greek Restaurant. Web. 07 Mar. 2010. <http://thanasis.com/store/nike.htm>.
"Temple of Athena Nike - Athens, Greece."
Sacred Sites at Sacred Destinations - Explore Sacred Sites, Religious Sites, Sacred Places. Web. 07 Mar. 2010. <http://www.sacred-destinations.com/greece/athens-temple-of-athena-nike>.
White, Evelyn. "The Theogony of Hesiod." Trans. Hugh G.
The Theogony of Hesiod//. 1914. Web. 6 Mar. 2010. <http://www.sacred- texts.com/cla/hesiod/theogony.htm>.