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Aidos (Greek: Αἰδώς, pronounced [ai̯dɔ̌ːs]) was the Greek goddess of shame, modesty, respect, and humility. Aidos, as a quality, was that feeling of reverence or shame which restrains men from wrong. It also encompassed the emotion that a rich person might feel in the presence of the impoverished, that wealth was more a matter of luck than merit.


She was the last goddess to leave the earth after the Golden Age. She was a close companion of the goddess of vengeance Nemesis.[1] One source calls her daughter of Prometheus.[2] Mythologically, she is often considered to be more of a personification than a physical deity.

There are references to her in various early Greek plays, such as Prometheus Bound by Aeschylus, Iphigenia at Aulis by Euripides, and Oedipus Rex by Sophocles.

There were altars to Aidos in Athens[3] and in Lacedaemon.[4]

Some sources mention Aeschyne (Ancient Greek: Αἰσχύνη) as a personification of shame and reverence;[5][6] this figure appears to be equivalent to Aidos.


  1. ^ Hesiod, Works and Days, 170 ff
  2. ^ Pindar, Olympian Ode 7. 44 ff
  3. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece, 1. 17. 1
  4. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece, 3. 20. 10–11
  5. ^ Aeschylus, Seven Against Thebes 409 ff
  6. ^ Aesop, Fables 528


  • Douglas L. Cairns, Aidos: The Psychology and Ethics of Honour and Shame in Ancient Greek Literature, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1992.

See also[edit]

Eleos: Goddess of pity, mercy, clemency, and compassion.