|Goddess of victory|
Stone carving of the goddess Nike at the ruins of the ancient city of Ephesus
|Symbol||golden sandals, wings, wreaths|
|Parents||Pallas and Styx|
|Siblings||Kratos, Bia, Zelus|
Nike (//; Greek: Νίκη, "Victory", Ancient Greek: [nǐːkɛː]), in ancient Greek religion, 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 the Titan Pallas and the goddess Styx, 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, symbolized by a wreath of Laurel leaves (Bay leaves).
Nike is seen with wings in most statues and paintings, with one of the most famous being the Winged Victory of Samothrace. 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 also one of the most commonly portrayed figures on Greek coins.
Names stemming from Nike include among others: Nikolaos, Nicholas, Nicola, Nick, Nicolai, Niccolò, Nikolai, Nicolae, Nils, Klaas, Nicole, Ike, Niki, Nikita, Nikitas, Nika, Nieke, Naike, Niketas, Nikki, Nico, and Veronica.
- The sports equipment company Nike, Inc. is named after the Greek goddess Nike.
- Project Nike, an American anti-aircraft missile system is named after the goddess Nike.
- A figure of Nike with a vessel was the design of the first FIFA World Cup trophy, known also as the Jules Rimet trophy.
- Since Giuseppe Cassioli's design for the 1928 Summer Olympics, the obverse face of every Olympic medal bears Nike's figure holding a palm frond in her right hand and a winner's laurel crown in her left.
- The goddess appears on the emblem of the University of Melbourne.
- Spirit of Ecstasy, the hood ornament used by the automobile manufacturer Rolls-Royce was inspired by Nike.
- The Titanic Engineers' Memorial, Southampton depicts Nike blessing the engineers of the RMS Titanic for staying at their post as the ship sank.
- The Honda motorcycle company's logo is inspired by the goddess Nike.
- "Nike: The Winged goddess of victory".
- Smith, Nice.
- R. S. P. Beekes, Etymological Dictionary of Greek, Brill, 2009, pp. 1021–2.
- "Nike: Greek goddess of victory". Theoi.com. Retrieved 2011-11-15.
- Sayles, Wayne G. (2007). Ancient Coin Collecting II. Krause Publications. p. 149. ISBN 978-0-89689-516-4.
- Winner's medal for the 1948 Olympic Games in London, Olympic.org. Accessed 5 August 2011.
- "Picture of 2004 Athens Games Medal". Retrieved 2010-01-28.
- Smith, William; A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities. William Smith, LLD. William Wayte. G. E. Marindin. Albemarle Street, London. John Murray. 1890. Online version at the Perseus Digital Library.