Bronze Figurine of Nike of Samothrace
Bronze statue on a marble base depicting Nike of Samothrace with a petal on one hand and an owl to the other. According to the Greek mythology, Goddess Nike personified victory and often appeared with wings.In the Parthenon there was a golden statue of her, while there was also a separate temple dedicated to the goddess. Nike was considered to be the Goddess of speed, strength and victory and was known as the "Winged Goddess". She was the daughter of Pallas (Titan) and Styx. Nike and her three sisters, were taken to Zeus in order to aid him in the great battle of Titans, where his ultimate goal was to gain control of mount Olympus. Nike allied with Zeus, during the battle and served him as his chariot. In reward for this, Zeus promised to always keep her by his side and under his protection. The Ancient Greeks worshiped Nike because they believed that she could make them immortal and gave men the strength and the required speed in order to defeat any battle they faced at. Nike is often depicted sitting next to Zeus on Mount Olympus. Once the Goddess appeared alone, she always had wings and held a palm branch on her right hand. If she appeared next to another god, Nike didn't have wings. According to the theory, Nike is depicted without wings in Athens, so that she can never escape from the city. The oldest sculpture of Nike dates back to 550 BC and is located on the Greek island of Delos. Most of Nike's sculptures were made of wood captured inside ivory and gold. It is estimated that the sculpture is almost nine meters high. Many sculptures of Zeus or Athena hold a smaller Nike on their right hand.
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