The Greek Nike

Nike is often found on coins minted by the Greeks. She is shown with wings, and is often in the action of flying. She is frequently shown crowning the |victor| of a battle, a victorious team of horses or charioteer (Sicily), and also crowning a king's name. Usually a wreath is held in her hand, with which she crowns the victorious subject. Sometimes she is shown alongside, erecting, or inscribing upon a trophy. She is nearly always shown with wings; a noteable exception is Athens, where they have a wingless Nike, in hopes she would not leave that city.

The origins of Nike

"And Styx the daughter of Okeanos was joined to |Pallas| and bore Zelos and petite Nike in the house. She also brought forth Kratos and Bia: wonderful children." Hesiod, in Theogony

Styx and her children, including Nike, fought in the war against the Titans. The Titans (and others) being the elder deities replaced by the Greeks with the "family" of Zeus and company, comprised of twelve principal deities all living atop Mount Olympos. Nike belonged to the elder deity group yet survived and melded into this new group of dieties, a testament to her popularity.

Lysimachos and Nike

The silver coinage of Lysimachos, a former bodygaurd and/or "general" under Alexander III, the Great, features Athena on the reverse, holding in her outstretched right hand the figure of Nike, who crowns the king's name with a wreath. These fine Hellenistic tetradrachms were struck in large quantities and high quality.

Nike morphs into the Roman Victory

As the Romans came into power, the attributes of Nike became those of Victory. From that time onwards she has been known and worshipped as the Roman goddess of Victory.