Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Nemesis


Nemesis brought great sorrow to mortals.
To ancient Greeks, Nemesis is the goddess who enacts retribution for evil deeds, undeserved good fortune, and against those who succumb to hubris (arrogance before the gods). Her name was derived from the Greek words nemêsis and nemô, meaning "dispenser of dues." A purveyor of justice, Nemesis was often depicted with a sword and scales. She is a winged goddess often wielding a whip or a dagger. Her Roman counterpart was Invidia, the goddess of jealousy and vengeance.

Justice (Dike, on the left) and Divine Vengeance (Nemesis) are pursuing the murderer. Pierre-Paul Prud'hon, 1808
Happiness and unhappiness were measured out by her, care being taken that happiness was not too frequent or excessive. If this happened, Nemesis could bring about losses and suffering. She was an avenging agent and punishing power of fate, who, sooner or later, overtakes the reckless sinner. Narcissus was a popular choice among elite Romans seeking to decorate their homes.