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Stone carving of the goddess Nike at the ruins of the ancient Greek city of Ephesus, Turkey
Stone carving of the goddess Nike at the ruins of the ancient Greek city of Ephesus, Turkey
Goddess of victory
Abode Mount Olympus
Parents Pallas and Styx
Siblings Cratos, Bia, Zelus
Roman equivalent Victoria
Greek deities
Primordial deities
Titans and Olympians
Aquatic deities
Chthonic deities
Other deities
Personified concepts

In Greek mythology, Nike (Greek: Νίκη, "Victory", pronounced [níːkɛː]) was a goddess who personified victory throughout the ages of the ancient Greek culture. She is 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], and the sister of Cratos (Strength), Bia (Force), and Zelus (Rivalry). 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.

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.[2] Nike is one of the most commonly portrayed figures on Greek coins.[3]

Names stemming from Nike include Nicholas ("victory of the people"), Nick, Nikolai, Nils, Klaas and Nicola.


In popular culture

  • 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 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.[4]
  • In Kamichama Karin, Karin's dead cat Shi-chan had the goddess Nike inside her, and when Shi-chan died, Nike took over her body.
  • 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.
  • In the cult manga and homonym anime Saint Seiya, the statue of Athena holds in her right hand a little image of Nike, as it can be seen in many icons of the goddess. The little statue of Nike can be turned into a staff, which provides Athena certain victory.
  • Statue of Nike can be also seen in Warsaw, Poland. It was built in 1964 to protect the capital of Poland.

See also


  1. ^ Styx is the goddess of the underworld river Styx (water is not Nike's mother)[1]
  2. ^ Nike: Greek goddess of victory
  3. ^ Sayles, Wayne G. (2007). Ancient Coin Collecting II. Krause Publications. pp. 149. ISBN 9780896895164. 
  4. ^ "Picture of 2004 Athens Games Medal". Retrieved 2010-01-28. 

External links

Simple English

in the Louvre, Paris]] 

Nike is the goddess of victory in Greek mythology. She was the daughter of Styx and Pallas and the sister of Cratos, Bia, and Zelus. Nike and her brothers and sister were all friends of Zeus.

Nike could run very fast, had wings and brings good luck. She is usually worshipped at the same time as Athena. Nike is often linked with sport, with companies named for her like Nike Inc. A picture of Nike also appears in all the medals for the Summer Olympics. Her Roman name is Victoria.

The most famous statue of Nike is the Winged Victory of Samothrace. This is now in the Louvre, which is a museum in Paris, France.

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