Türkİye, Culture

Greek goddess of victory Nike makes triumphant return at Turkish museum

Goddess of victory often used to commemorate victories in wars, competitions, says head of archeology museum in Aegean region

Efsun Erbalaban Yilmaz   | 04.08.2022
Greek goddess of victory Nike makes triumphant return at Turkish museum 49-centimeter winged Nike figure decorated with laurel leaf motifs from the Hellenistic Period is displayed as part of August program of Izmir Archaelogy Museum in Izmir, Turkiye on August 03, 2022. Winged Nike figure was unearthed in the ancient city of Pergamon in Izmir's Bergama district in 1925. The August program of the project called "You Will See What You Can't See", where the Izmir Archaeological Museum displays unique artifacts in its warehouses every month, was reserved for Nike, who is known as the goddess of victory in Greek mythology. ( Mehmet Emin Menguarslan - Anadolu Agency )

IZMIR, Türkiye

Artifacts dedicated to the cult of Nike, the ancient Greek goddess of victory, are making a triumphant return at a museum in Türkiye's Aegean region.

Special artifacts related to Nike will be displayed for the first time by the Izmir Archeology Museum in August as part of its project called "Seeing What You Can't See," in which every month the museum exhibits unique artifacts taken from storage rarely seen by the public.

Three works depicting Nike are now open to visitors in the treasury room of the museum.

A 49-centimeter (19-inch) marble column dating back to the Hellenistic era is the centerpiece of the exhibit.

The column was unearthed in 1925 from the ancient city of Pergamon in Izmir's Bergama district.

The piece shows a figure of Nike holding onto her skirts with her hands, and is shown with wings, a dress, and laurel leaf motifs.

The marble column, believed to be about 2,000 years old, is among the first artifacts brought to the Izmir Archeology Museum and is now being shown to the public for the first time in nearly a century.

The second piece in the exhibit, a burned clay oil lamp unearthed from the ancient city of Iasos in Milas in the western Mugla province, has a figure of Nike on its concave surface.

The nearly 2,500-year-old Nike figure was unearthed from the ancient city of Neonteikhos in Menemen, Izmir and is believed to have been a burial gift.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Cengiz Topal, director of the Izmir Archeology Museum, said: "Nike is seen as a personalized form of victory in Greek mythology who can run and fly, and in the Roman era she was known as Victoria."

Topal said Nike could be found both in the public arena and in temples of other mythological gods, such as Athena, the goddess of wisdom, and Zeus, the king of the gods.

The goddess of victory was often used to commemorate and bless victories in wars and competitions, Topal added.

*Writing by Zehra Nur Duz in Ankara

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