Showing posts from November, 2023

From Nike, Winged Goddess of Victory, to an Angel in Three Coins

A winged goddess of victory has been a widespread image over the past two and a half millennia. Here I illustrate her transformation from Greek goddess to Roman goddess to Christian angel with three coins spanning a period of about 900 years.  She, Nike , appears in Archaic form in a statue from Delos , dating to the 6th century BCE and found in front of the old Temple of Artemis in 1887. A famous 5th century BCE sculpture of Nike by Paionios was found at Olympia in 1875 and the even more famous Winged Victory of Samothrace , dating to the second century BCE, was found in 1863. Nike also appeared on coins and a beautiful ancient Greek example from the fourth century BCE shows this winged goddess of victory carrying a wreath and a naval stylis (what appears to be a staff with angled trident head).   Reverse of gold stater of Alexander III (The Great), Ake mint, dating to 308/9 BCE, showing Nike with wreath in right hand and stylis in left hand. In her later Roman guise as the goddess