Mythology the Past and Present
Nike is the winged goddess of victory according to Greek mythology. She sat at the side of Zeus, the ruler of the Olympic pantheon, in Olympus. A mystical presence, symbolizing victorious encounters, Nike presided over history's earliest battlefields. A Greek would say, "When we go to battle and win, we say it is Nike." Synonymous with honored conquest, Nike is the twentieth century footwear that lifts the world's greatest athletes to new levels of mastery and achievement. The Nike 'swoosh' embodies the spirit of the winged goddess who inspired the most courageous and chivalrous warriors at the dawn of civilization. In Greek mythology, Nike 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. Nike has a legacy that lives on today, not through the field of battle but through clothing, shoes, and apparel. Nike paints the perfect portrait of what the goddess set out...
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