Orphic Hymn 33 to Nike (trans. Taylor) (Greek hymns C3rd B.C. to 2nd A.D.) :
"To Nike (Victory), Fumigation from Manna. O powerful Nike, by men desired, with adverse breasts to dreadful fury fired, thee I invoke, whose might alone can quell contending rage and molestation fell. 'Tis thine in battle to confer the crown, the victor's prize, the mark of sweet renown; for thou rulest all things, Nike divine! And glorious strife, and joyful shouts are thine. Come, mighty Goddess, and thy suppliant bless, with sparkling eyes, elated with success; may deeds illustrious thy protection claim, and find, led on by thee, immortal fame."Nike's Appearance: A fit young woman with wings.
Symbol or Attributes of Nike:Her wings; often depicted with a wreath of victory or a staff; the chariot.
Nike's Strengths: A very fast runner, swift flyer, able charioteer.
Nike's Weaknesses: Can be capricious (inconsistent) in doling out victory.
Nike's Parents:Daughter of Styx, called a nymph but actually the presiding spirit over the major river of the Underworld, and Pallas, a Titan. She has three brothers - Zelos, Kratos, and Bia, which are, respectively, rivalry, strength, and force.
Nike's Spouse: None.
Some Major Temple Sites for Nike: She is depicted multiple times at the Acropolis of Athens. The Parthenon there is dedicated to the goddess Athena, known for wisdom and skill in war, and a close friend to Nike. Nike, as Athena Nike, also presided over a temple on the acropolis of Megara.
Nike's Basic Story: Despite being half-Titan by her father Pallas, Nike fought against the Titans on the side of the Olympians.
Frequent Misspellings and Alternate Spellings: Niki, Nyke, Nykie, Nice
Interesting Facts about Nike: Some sources give her father as Ares, the God of War. The most famous statue of Nike is the Nike of Samothrace, a Greek island in the northern Aegean, now in the Louvre Museum in Paris. In Roman myth, she was known as Victoria.
From: HereIn 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) and the sister of Kratos (Strength), Bia (Force), and Zelus (Zeal).
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, and is thought to have stood in Athena's outstretched hand in the statue of Athena located in the Parthenon. Nike is one of the most commonly portrayed figures on Greek coins.
Names stemming from Nike include amongst others: Nicholas, Nicola, Nick, Nicolai, Nikolai, Nicolae, Nils, Klaas, Nicole, Ike, Niki, Nikita, Nika, Niketas, and Nico.
From: WikiNIKE (or Nicé) was the winged goddess or spirit (daimon) of victory, both in battle and peaceful competition. When Zeus was gathering allies at the start of the Titan War, Styx brought her four children, Nike (Victory), Zelos (Rivalry), Kratos (Strength) and Bia (Force) into the service of the god. Nike was appointed his charioteer, and all four were appointed as sentinels standing beside the throne of the god. Beyond this Nike never acquired any distinctive mythology of her own.
Nike was depicted in ancient Greek vase painting with a variety of attributes including a wreath or sash to crown a victor, an oinochoe and phiale (bowl and cup) for libations, a thymiaterion (incense burner), an altar, and a lyre for the celebration of victory in song.
In scenes of the Gigantomachia (War of the Giants) she often appears driving the chariot of Zeus. In mosaic art and coins Nike isoften shown holding a palm branch as a symbol of victory.
Nike was closely identified with the goddess Athena, sometimes appearing merely as an attribute of the goddess. Sometimes the goddess was pluralised into Nikai.
CULT & ARTISTIC REPRESENTATIONS OF NIKE
I) ATHENS Chief City of Attika (Southern Greece)
Pausanias, Description of Greece 1. 22. 4 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"On the right of the gateway [of the Akropolis in Athens] is a temple of Nike Apteron (Wingless)."
Pausanias, Description of Greece 1. 24. 7 :
"The statue of Athena [on the Akropolis in Athens] is upright with a tunic reaching to her feet . . . She holds a statue of Nike (Victory) about four cubits high, and in the other hand a spear."
Pausanias, Description of Greece 3. 15. 7 :
"[At Sparta in Lakonia] is an old image of Enyalios in fetter. The idea the Lakedaimonians express by this image is the same as the Athenians express by their Wingless Nike; the former think that Enyalios will never run away from them, being bound in the fetters, while the Athenians think that Nike, having no wings, will always remain where she is. In this fashion, and with such a belief, have these cities set up the wooden images."
Pausanias, Description of Greece 4. 36. 6 :
"The Athenians dedicated a bronze statue of Nike also on the acropolis as a memorial of the events of Sphakteria [their victory over the Spartans]."
Pausanias, Description of Greece 5. 26. 6 :
"The wooden image at Athens called Nike Apteron (Wingless Victory)."
Suidas s.v. Nike Athena (trans. Suda On Line) (Byzantine Greek Lexicon C10th A.D.) :
"Nike Athena: Lykourgos (Lycurgus) in the [speech] On the Priestess [mentions her]. That the xoanon of Nike, wingless, holding a pomegranate in her right hand and a helmet in her left, was worshipped by the Athenians Heliodoros the Periegete has shown in the first book of his On the Akropolis. Alternatively [she stands] allegorically for the notion that even winning is completely dependent on thought; for thought contributes to victory, but being thoughtless and impetuous while fighting leads to defeat. When she has wings she symbolizes that aspect of the mind that is sharp and, so to speak, swift-winged; but when she is depicted without wings she represents that aspect of it that is peaceful and quiet and civil, that by which the things of the earth flourish, a boon of which the pomegranate in her right hand is a representation. Just as the helmet in her left [is a representation] of battle. Thus she has the same capability as Athena."
II) PEIRAIOS Town of Attika (Southern Greece)
Pausanias, Description of Greece 1. 1. 3 (trans. Jones) (Greek travelogue C2nd A.D.) :
"[In the temple of Zeus at Peiraios in Attika:] The images are of bronze; Zeus holds a staff and a Nike."
III) TITANE Town of the Argolis (Southern Greece)
Pausanias, Description of Greece 2. 11. 8 :
"In the gable [of the temple of Asklepios at Titane in Argolis] at the ends are figures of Herakles and of Nikai (Victories)."
IV) SPARTA Chief City of Lakonia (Southern Greece)
Pausanias, Description of Greece 3. 17. 4 :
"The west portico [of the temple of Athene in Sparta in Lakonia] has two eagles, and upon them are two Nikai. Lysander dedicated them to commemorate both his exploits [war victories]."
V) OLYMPIA Sanctuary in Elis (Southern Greece)
Pausanias, Description of Greece 5. 11. 1 :
"In his [the statue of Zeus in his temple at Olympia] right hand he carried a Nike, which, like the statue, is of ivory and gold; she wears a ribbon and--on her head--a garland . . . There are four Nikai (Victories), represented as dancing women, one at each foot of the throne, and two others at the base of each foot."
Pausanias, Description of Greece 5. 10. 4 :
"At Olympia . . . a Nike, also gilt, is set in about the middle of the pediment [of the temple of Zeus]."
Pausanias, Description of Greece 5. 14. 8 :
"[At Olympia] is an altar of . . . . Zeus Purifier, one of Nike."
Pausanias, Description of Greece 5. 17. 3 :
"[In the temple of Hera at Olympia :] Here too have been dedicted [statues of] Leto, Tykhe, Dionysos and a winged Nike."
Pausanias, Description of Greece 5. 26. 1 :
"The Dorian Messenians who received Naupaktos [in a victory in war] from the Athenians dedicated at Olympia the image of Nike (Victory) upon the pillar."
Pausanias, Description of Greece 5. 26. 6 - 7 :
"Beside the Athena [statue at Olympia] has been set up a Nike. The Mantineans [of Arkadia] dedicated it, but they do not mention the ware in the inscription. Kalamis is said to have made it without wings in imitation of the wooden image at Athens called Nike Apteron (Wingless Victory)."
Pausanias, Description of Greece 6. 18. 1 :
"There is also a bronze statue of Kratisthenes of Kyrene [at Olympia], on the chariot stand Nike and Kratisthenes himself. It is thus plain that his victory was in the chariot-race."
VI) THESPIAE Town in Boiotia (Central Greece)
Pausanias, Description of Greece 9. 27. 5 :
"Not far from the marketplace [at Thespiae, Boiotia] is a Nike of bronze and a small temple of the Mousai. In it are small images made of stone."
VII) SYRAKOUSA Town in Sikelia (Sicily) (Southern Italy)
Cicero, De Natura Deorum 3. 34 (trans. Rackham) (Roman rhetorician C1st B.C.) :
"Also he [the historic Sicilian tyrant Dionysius of Syracuse] have no scruples in removing the little gold images of Nike (Victory) and the gold cups and crowns carried in the outstretched hands of statues [of the gods]."
For the Rest, see THEOI's PAGE.Goddess of victory. Nike (Victory) and her brothers – Zelus (Emulation), Cratus (Strength) and Bia (Force), were the children of the Titan Pallas and the Oceanid Styx. Sometimes, her name just appeared as Victory.
Of the four children, Nike appeared to be more than just an abstract personification of victory. Nike was often depicted as a winged goddess. Though, Strength (Cratus) appeared with Violence, in Aeschylus' play, titled Prometheus Bound.
When war broke out between the Titans and the Olympians, Zeus had offered any Titan and or children of Titans honoured places, if they sided with him. So it was that Styx and her children, who were the first to come and aid the new gods, against the Titans.
When the war ended, Styx's children lived in Olympus with Zeus, and he rewarded Styx, one of the highest honours: any god who swore an oath by her name, that oath would be inviolable.
The attributes of Nike and her brothers actually became the attributes of Zeus. Zeus was sometimes called Zeus Nike, which is the Victorious Zeus. Sometimes, the name Nike was also attached to Athena's name.
In the Homeric Hymns to Ares, there is another goddess named Victory, but she is the daughter of Ares.
The Goddess Nike -- This site has tons of pages about Nike, her symbols, role, history, etc. Worth a look!
Wiki: Winged Victory of Samothrace