Nike (mythology)

Nike (mythology)
Stone carving of the goddess Nike at the ruins of the ancient Greek city of Ephesus
Stone carving of the goddess Nike at the ruins of the ancient Greek city of Ephesus
Goddess of victory
Abode Mount Olympus
Parents Pallas and Styx
Siblings Kratos, Bia, Zelus
Roman equivalent Victoria

In Greek mythology, Nike (Greek: Νίκη, "Victory", pronounced [nǐːkɛː]) was a goddess who personified victory, also known as the Winged Goddess of Victory. The Roman equivalent was Victoria. Depending upon the time of various myths, she was described as the daughter of Pallas (Titan) and Styx (Water)[1][2] and the sister of Kratos (Strength), Bia (Force), and Zelus (Zeal).[1] Nike and her siblings were close companions of Zeus, the dominant deity of the Greek pantheon. According to classical (later) myth, Styx brought them to Zeus when the god was assembling allies for the Titan War against the older deities. Nike assumed the role of the divine charioteer, a role in which she often is portrayed in Classical Greek art. Nike flew around battlefields rewarding the victors with glory and fame.

Greek deities
Primordial deities
Titans and Olympians
Aquatic deities
Chthonic deities
Other deities
Personified concepts

Nike is seen with wings in most statues and paintings. Most other winged deities in the Greek pantheon had shed their wings by Classical times. Nike is the goddess of strength, speed, and victory. Nike was a very close acquaintance of Athena, and is thought to have stood in Athena's outstretched hand in the statue of Athena located in the Parthenon.[3] Nike is one of the most commonly portrayed figures on Greek coins.[4]

Names stemming from Nike include amongst others: Nicholas, Nicola, Nick, Nicolai, Nikolai, Nicolae, Nils, Klaas, Nicole, Ike, Niki, Nikita, Nika, Niketas, and Nico.


In popular culture

  • The fictional character Sora is nicknamed Nike after the Greek goddess of victory in the Japanese manga series Air Gear.
  • The shoe and sports equipment company Nike, Inc. is named after the Greek goddess Nike, as was Project Nike, an American anti-aircraft missile system.
  • A figure of Nike with a vessel was the design of the first FIFA World Cup trophy, known also as the Jules Rimet trophy.
  • Since Giuseppe Cassioli's design for the 1928 Summer Olympics, the obverse face of every Olympic medal bears Nike's figure holding a palm frond in her right hand and a winner’s crown in her left.[5][6]
Statue of the Goddess Nike on the Titanic Engineers' Memorial, Southampton
  • In Tera Lynn Childs' young-adult novel Oh. My. Gods., the main character is a direct descendant of the goddess Nike.
  • In The Darkest Prison by Gena Showalter, the Greek Nike, a guard of Tartarus who is the embodiment of strength, fell in love with the Titan Atlas, her male equivalent, when he was a prisoner at Tartarus.
  • A statue of Nike can be also seen in Warsaw, Poland. It was built in 1964 to protect the capital of Poland.
  • On the emblem of the University of Melbourne, the goddess also appears.
  • She is depicted on the front of the World War II Victory Medal (United States).

See also


External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

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  • Nike — may refer to: Nike (mythology), Greek goddess who personifies victory The Nike of Samothrace, an ancient statue of the goddess Nike Nike, Inc., major U.S. manufacturer of athletic shoes, apparel, and sports equipment Project Nike, US Army missile …   Wikipedia

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  • Nike des Kallimachos — Die Nike des Kallimachos, auch „Kallimachos–Monument“ genannt, ist eine rundplastische Darstellung der Nike aus parischem Marmor eines unbekannten Bildhauers. Gestiftet wurde die Statue von dem athenischen Feldherrn und Politiker Kallimachos um… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Nike Award — For the Russian film award, see Nika Award. NIKE 2005 award ceremony with former Polish president Aleksander Kwaśniewski The NIKE Literary Award (Nagroda Literacka NIKE) is one of the most prestigious awards for Polish literature. Established in… …   Wikipedia

  • Nike — noun (Greek mythology) winged goddess of victory; identified with Roman Victoria • Topics: ↑Greek mythology • Instance Hypernyms: ↑Greek deity …   Useful english dictionary

  • Nike — n. (Mythology) ancient Greek goddess of victory; type of antiaircraft missile; USA sporting goods company …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Nike — /ˈnaɪki/ (say nuykee) noun Greek Mythology 1. the goddess of victory, called by the Romans Victoria, represented as a winged maiden, a palm branch in one hand and a garland in the other, or a fillet outstretched in both hands. 2. the goddess… …   Australian-English dictionary

  • Project Nike — Nike missile family on display at Redstone Arsenal, Alabama. From left, MIM 14 Nike Hercules, MIM 23 Hawk (front), MGM 29 Sergeant (back), LIM 49 Spartan, MGM 31 Pershing, MGM 18 Lacrosse, MIM 3 Nike Ajax. Project Nike was a U.S. Army project,… …   Wikipedia

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  • Kratos (mythology) — This article is about the Greek personification. For other uses, see Kratos. Greek deities series Primordial deities Titans and Olympians Aquatic deities Chthonic deities Other deities Personified concepts …   Wikipedia

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