I was teaching yesterday, helping another teacher in a high school English class discussing mythological literature. Then one of the girls asked a question that made me curious — who was Nike?
The brand name we all know as the shoe and apparel company really did exist, at least in mythology. Nike was the Greek goddess of speed, strength and victory. Most mythology claims her as the child of Styx and the Titan Pallas. She is normally pictured as having wings, and is also named the Winged Goddess. You may recognize that name from sculpture “Nike of Samothrace,” which is on display in the Louvre Museum in Paris ( http://musee.louvre.fr/oal/victoiredesamothrace/victoiredesamothrace_acc_en.html ).
During the Titanomachy conflict, Nike was allied with the Chief Greek God Zeus. Her reward for this alliance was that Zeus promised to protect her forever. In art, she is often depicted beside Zeus on Mount Olympus, as shown at left. Greeks worshiped her because they believed she could make them immortal and could give them the strength and speed to be successful in any task. In Roman Mythology, she became Victoria.
She really is a fitting symbol for an athletic apparel company.
For more, visit https://greekgodsandgoddesses.net/goddesses/nike/ . The photo is from that site.