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Ancient Greek Gods and Goddesses for Kids - Nike
The myths and legends surrounding Nike, the Greek goddess of Victory

Nike for kids
Discover the myths surrounding Nike, the ancient Greek winged goddess of Victory, strength and speed who flew around battlefields rewarding the victors with glory and fame. She was also a patron of various games and competitions and is often pictured rewarding athletes and heroes and pictures with a wreath of a laurel leaves.

Nike for kids
She is often confused with the goddess Athene as their depictions in Greek art were similar, can be easily recognized by her large, graceful wings that indicated her status as a goddess and her power of speed and flight. Additional facts and interesting information about the mythology of individual gods and goddesses can be accessed via the following links:

Gods and Deities

Greek Gods and Goddesses

Ancient Greek Gods and Goddesses

Nike, the goddess of Victory

Who was Nike?
Nike was the Greek goddess of Victory and one of the extraordinary number of gods and goddesses worshipped by the Ancient Greeks. The legend and myth about Nike has been passed down through the ages and plays an important role in the history of the Ancient World and the study of the Greek classics. Nike was descended from the Titan dynasty of Greek gods and was the daughter of the Titan Pallas, and of Styx, the goddess of the river of that name in the Underworld. Although she was originally identified with victory on the battlefield she became to be recognized as a mediator and patron of athletes who competed in the Greek games. Nike was one of the city gods and a temple was erected to her on the Acropolis at Athens, which can still to be seen today.

Picture of Nike crowning Aries, the god of war

Nike crowning Mars, the god of war

Facts about Nike
Nike features in the religious beliefs of the ancient Greeks which are based on the idea that these supernatural beings resembled mortals but possessed great magical and mystic powers. The following information, facts and profile provides a fast overview of Nike:

Nike Profile & Fact File
Greek Name: Nike, the goddess of Victory, strength and speed
Role & Function: Her function was to reward the victors in battle
Status: A Minor goddess, a descendent of the Titans
Symbols: Large wings, wreath of laurel leaves, palm-branch, a large shield on which she inscribed the names of victors in battle
Gender: Female
Roman Counterpart: The Roman name for Nike was Victoria
Name of Husband: Unmarried
Name of Father: Pallas
Name of Mother: Styx
Names of Children: None

Nike

The Symbols of Nike
Each ancient Greek god and goddess were associated with special symbols, animals and attributes. The Symbols of Nike helped the ancient Greeks instantly recognize the gods and goddesses that were depicted in the pictures, mosaics, statues and images. The symbols of Nike were large, elegant wings, a wreath of laurel leaves or a trophy, palm-branchand a shield and their meanings were as follows:

  • The Shield
  • The large shield on which she inscribed the names of victors in battle
  • Wings
  • Her wings symbolized the power of speed and flight
  • The Laurel Wreath
  • The laurel wreath was give to a victor in athletic competitions
  • The Palm branch
  • The palm branch was a symbol of triumph and victory. Champions of the games and celebrated military successes were rewarded with palm branches
Gold Laurel Wreath

Picture of Nike and athlete

Picture of a golden Laurel Wreath and Nike presenting a laurel wreath to an athlete

Nike and the Statue of Zeus
The most celebrated statue of the Olympian king of the gods, Zeus, was made by the famous Athenian sculptor Phidias. The statue was over 40 feet high, and stood in the temple of Zeus at Olympia. It was made from ivory and gold, and was once considered among the seven wonders of the ancient world. It represented Zeus, seated on a throne holding a royal sceptre, surmounted by an eagle in his left hand. In his right hand he holds a life-sized image of Nike (the goddess of Victory). Nike may be recognized by her large, graceful wings and flowing drapery. In her left hand, she holds a crown of laurel, and in her right hand she holds a palm-branch. Nike stands on a ball, held in the open palm of Zeus.

Statue of Zeus

Statue of Zeus, holding Nike in his hand

Nike (Roman Counterpart was Victoria)
When the Roman Empire conquered the Greeks in 146BC, the Romans assimilated various elements from other cultures and civilisations, including the gods and goddesses that were worshipped by the Ancient Greeks. Many of the Greek gods and goddesses, such as Nike, were therefore adopted by the Romans but were given Latin names. The Roman counterpart of Nike was Victoria.

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  • Nike
  • Interesting information and Facts about the Greek goddess Nike
  • Nike, the Greek goddess of Victory
  • Stories and Legends in Greek Mythology associated with Nike
  • Facts and information about the Gods and Deities of the Ancient World for schools and kids
  • Nike, the Greek goddess of Victory

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