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Nike is Victory. She is often seen in company of Athena, who never puts up with defeat. There are no myths attached to her, but she is an old goddess, born before the OLYMPIANS. She lives in Olympus close to Zeus, together with her brothers Zelos, Cratos and Bia (see also Titanomachy).

Sweet Victory

Some have said that Victory is the fine result which is achieved in accordance with the aim pursued. So, for example, crushing the enemy is Victory for the general, obtaining good and abundant food from the land is Victory for the farmer, and reestablishing a patient to health is Victory for the physician. Similarly, whoever has a chief aim will, as the general, the farmer and the physician, attempt to achieve the finest result, and this one he will call Victory, considering it the sweetest thing of all. And Victory being so irresistible sweet, everybody wants her to stay, and that is why the wingless Nike was conceived, so that she never would fly away.

Prize of Victory

However, the glory of Victory has been related to the value of the aim pursued. So if the aim of the general were to betray his own army and lead it to destruction, and that of the farmer to starve the community by demanding arbitrary prices, and that of the physician to poison his patient, although by achieving their aims they would still be obtaining victories, these would, at the same time, be respectively called treason, greed, and murder, in which no glory is to be found. And that is why it may be said that no lasting pleasure arises by gaining Victory for such things. For treason provokes hate, greed causes contempt and enmity, murder calls for revenge, and all of them give birth to fear and suspicion, which become the wreath of those victories. So, what is called the prize of Victory has been thought to be paramount, Victory itself tasting differently depending on what has been defeated, either good or bad things.


Parentage (three versions)


Pallas 1 & Styx


Ares & unknown


Pallas 2 & unknown


Pallas 1 is son of the Titan Crius 1 and Eurybia 1, daughter of Pontus and Gaia. For Styx see Underworld.
Pallas 2 is son of impious Lycaon 2. According to the Arcadians Athena, as soon as she was born, was handed over to Pallas 2 by Zeus, and reared by him till she grew up.

Nike. 2026: Statue in Rhodes.


Apd.1.2.5; DH.1.33.1; Hes.The.384; Hom.Ar.8.4; Nonn.2.205, 2.358, 2.418, 2.701, 5.108, 39.386; Soph.Ant.148.