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Messenger goddess
Personal information
ParentsThaumas and Electra
SiblingsIris, Aello, Celaeno, Podarge and Ocypete

In Greek mythology, Arke or Arce (Greek: Ἄρκη, Árkē, meaning "swift") is one of the daughters of Thaumas and Electra, and twin sister to Iris. During the Titanomachy, Arke fled from the Olympians' camp and joined the Titans, unlike Iris who remained loyal to Zeus and his allies. After the war was over and the Titans with their allies were defeated, Zeus cut off her wings and cast Arke into Tartarus.


Arke was born to Thaumas and Electra. She and Iris were both messenger goddesses. During the Titanomachy, she sided with the Titans against the Olympian gods; she became the messenger for the Titans, while Iris became the messenger of the Olympian Gods. When the Olympian gods won, Zeus punished Arke. She was deprived of her wings and cast into Tartarus, together with the vanquished Titans. Arke's wings were later given to Peleus and Thetis as a gift on their wedding day; Thetis later gave them to her son Achilles, which is thought to be the derivation of his surname Podarces (literally "swift-footed", as if from πούς, gen. ποδός "foot" + the name of Arke).[1]

In Eumelus of Corinth's lost epic Titanomachy, it seems that the messenger of the Titans was called Ithas, identified with Prometheus.[2][3]

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  1. ^ Ptolemy Hephaestion, New History, 6; Photius, Bibliotheca, 190
  2. ^ Eumelus, fragment 5 [=Hesychius Lexicon i387]
  3. ^ Kerényi (1997), p. 50


  • Photius, Bibliotheca excerpts, sections 1-166 translated by John Henry Freese, from the SPCK edition of 1920, now in the public domain, and other brief excerpts from subsequent sections translated by Roger Pearse (from the French translation by René Henry, ed. Les Belles Lettres).

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