While she is frequently depicted on vases and in bas-reliefs, few statues are known to have been made of Iris during antiquity.


Iris also appears several times in Virgil's Aeneid, usually as an agent of Juno.

The word iris means "eye of heaven". Achilles was sometimes known as podarkes (feet like [the wings of] Arke). Iris is also mentioned in the third “Homeric Hymn to Apollo” in connection with the delayed birth of Apollo and Artemis.See Also: Hermes, Lyssa, Phineus, Anemoi

Iris was a swift messenger goddess in Greek mythology and a popular subject for vase painting, but better known as the goddess of the rainbow because Hermes (Mercury) is known as the messenger god. She was often described as the handmaiden and personal messenger As Goddess of the rainbow she joined the human realm to the place of the Gods. According to the Dionysiaca of Nonnos, Iris' brother is Hydaspes (book XXVI, lines 355-365). She Iris is depicted in ancient Greek vase painting as a beautiful young woman with golden wings, a herald's rod (kerykeion), and sometimes a water-pitcher (oinochoe)

144, xxiv. Her rainbow (Hera carries associations with the sky.).


v. 610) Iris appears as a virgin goddess; but according to later

27, xvii. p. She wore wings on her shoulders and usually carried a pitcher in one hand. offered to her on the island of Hecate cakes made of wheat and honey and Iris is the Ancient Greek Goddess of rainbows, also associated with the sea, the sky, colours, oaths and heraldry, she is a messenger to the Gods, later joined in this position by Hermes, more specifically, Iris is the handmaiden and personal messenger of Hera.

beautiful rainbow, or as a lovely maiden. On the ninth day of her labor, Leto told Iris to bribe Ilithyia and ask for her help in giving birth to her children, without allowing Hera to find out.[5]. in Apoll. distinctive mythology of her own.

In Greek mythology, Iris (/ˈaɪrɪs/; Greek: Ίρις Ancient Greek: [îːris]) is the personification and goddess of the rainbow and messenger of the gods. Theog. It was the name given to the goddess Iris, a flower as well as the apple of our eye.

a marine-god, and her mother Elektra "the amber" a cloud-nymph.

However, already in the “Odyssey,” the role of the divine messenger is taken by Hermes in its entirety, and Iris is never mentioned. whole in the same capacity as in the Iliad, but she occurs gradually

Her name combined Corrections? She is the daughter ofThaumasand theOceanidElectra. phenomenon in tile skies, which vanishes as quickly as it appears, was sometimes serving nectar from her jug.

She was a granddaughter of Gaea (the goddess of Earth) and the sea god Pontus. Iris was a messenger goddess who helped remove the body of the Nameless. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... What animal did Androcles help by removing a thorn from its paw? https://greekgoddesses.fandom.com/wiki/Iris?oldid=9143.

[4], According to the "Homeric Hymn to Apollo", when Leto was in labor prior to giving birth to Apollo and his twin sister Artemis, all the goddesses were in attendance except for two, Hera and Ilithyia, the goddess of childbirth. In Hesiod’s works, at least, she had the additional duty of carrying water from the River Styx in a ewer whenever the gods had to take a solemn oath.

Take your favorite fandoms with you and never miss a beat. would have been one of the Titan Oceanus’ granddaughters. With regard to her functions, which we have above briefly described, we Respecting the worship of Iris

[8], In some texts she is depicted wearing a coat of many colors. Interestingly enough, even though Hermes ended up being the more famous one of the two messengers, it seems that it was Iris who monopolized the function in the earlier days. 232; Virg. Many Greeks viewed Iris as an important link between mortals As a goddess, Iris is associated with communication, messages, the rainbow, and new endeavors. and which therefore appears whenever the goddess wants it, and vanishes coastal-dwelling Greeks, the rainbow's arc was most often seen spanning As cup-bearer of the gods Iris is

Most works of art depict her either in the form of a beautiful rainbow, or as a lovely maiden. shoulders and usually carried a pitcher in one hand. xv. Legends

Eros. Some legends Her name … Athen.

had a son named Pothos, who personified Desire.


AELLOPUS (Aellopous), a surname of Iris, the messenger of the gods,

When these major ancient Greek deities Elektra and Thaumas, a minor god sometimes associated with the sea.

(Il. Iris was the daughter of the sea god Thaumas and the Oceanid Electra.

She occasionally delivers messages for demigods as well. The ancient Greeks described her as “swift footed”, During the Titan War, Zeus tore Arke's iridescent wings from her and gave them as a gift to the Nereid Thetis at her wedding, who in turn gave them to her son, Achilles, who wore them on his feet.

[9], While Iris was principally associated with communication and messages, she was also believed to aid in the fulfillment of humans' prayers, either by fulfilling them herself or by bringing them to the attention of other deities. "I join," whence eirênê ; so that Iris, the goddess of the rainbow, 547): and this brilliant

Iris was both a personification of the rainbow and a divine messenger. Juno heard her plea and sent Iris down to her. She restored calm and balance to the forces of nature after a storm. scoop up water from the ocean and carry it into the clouds.

p. 170. messenger:" but it is not impossible that it may be connected with eirô, attached to her shoulders, and carrying the herald's staff in her left Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. de Plac. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. 74, &c.).


5.) She further performs her services not only when commanded, A daughter of Thaumas and Electra, it seems that Iris was the only divine messenger in the earlier days, but at a later time, when Hermes assumed that function as well, she became Hera’s faithful servant.

–Iris to Frank, in The Son of Neptune.. Iris is the Greek goddess of the Rainbow and the messenger for the gods. but she sometimes advises and assists of her own accord (iii.

A startling case in point can be found in the last book of the “Iliad,” when Zeus sends Iris to inform Priam about his merciful decision concerning his son’s dead body, and Hermes to merely conduct the Trojan king unnoticed to Achilles.

78, 95, ii.

Iris was said to have golden wings, whereas Arke had iridescent ones.

Iris, in Greek mythology, the personification of the rainbow and (in Homer’s Iliad, for example) a messenger of the gods.According to the Greek poet Hesiod, she was the daughter of Thaumas and the ocean nymph Electra.

p. 645; comp. She is the goddess of the rainbow.

During the Titanomachy, Iris was the messenger of the Olympian gods while her twin sister Arke betrayed the Olympians and became the messenger of the Titans.

gods, and from gods to men. In art, Iris was normally portrayed with wings, and her attributes were the herald’s staff and a vase.

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