Top 10 Curious Facts about Nemesis

Greek goddesses are characterized by emotions and household activities except only a few. They are good archetypal figures because of their exaggerated personalities.

These goddesses were immortal and showed similarities to modern-day superheroes. But they’re still plagued with personal flaws and negative emotions. 

Their negative emotions harmed several lives of gods and mortals. Sometimes, they ended up in their own life because of poetic justice. 

Unlike traditional deities, there was a goddess who gave pain as a divine duty. She was Nemesis. You may have heard her name, perhaps from a video game. 

The title character is trendy in gaming communities. Before you jump into a maze of queries, let’s learn the quick, curious facts about Goddess Nemesis.  

10. Nemesis was the Greek goddess of balance, retribution, and vengeance

Goddess of balance - Nemesis
Goddess of balance – Nemesis

Nemesis was the Greek deity who was assigned to direct human affairs in such a way as to maintain equilibrium. Her name meant “to give what is due” or the person who distributes or deals out. 

She measured happiness and sorrow in her balance, so she was called the goddess of balance. If a person would have happiness frequently, Nemesis could bring about losses and suffering. 

Nemesis was regarded as the goddess of retribution, a supernatural or divine punishment of a person, a group of people, or everyone by a deity in response to some actions. 

She enacted her divine justice against those who showed arrogance against the gods. She would burst out to those who performed evil deeds and had an undeserved good fortune.

She had a special power from the supreme gods to make people realize that they couldn’t be above gods. The punishment was compensation to the victims.

She avenged wrongdoers who mistreated people and boasted of themselves. So, she was also called the goddess of vengeance. 

In Greek Tragedies, Nemesis is presented as the avenger of crime and the punisher of hubris. Thus, she is akin to Atë and the Erinyes. 

Sometimes she was called “Adrasteia,” suggesting “inescapable.” Her images resemble other goddesses, such as Cybele, Rhea, Demeter, and Artemis.

9. Nemesis was the daughter of Nyx with no father

Nemesis and Nyx
Nemesis and Nyx

Nemesis was the daughter of Nyx, the goddess of night, and had no father. According to the historian Hesiod, she was born without the involvement of a male figure.

However, some myths mention that she was born from Nyx and Zeus, Nyx and Oceanus or Erebus and Nyx. The fact about her father is still under controversy.

Nyx had other children as well. They were Oneiroi ( dreams ), Eris ( Discord ), and Apate ( deception).

8. Zeus had raped Nemesis in the guise

Nemesis and Zeus
Nemesis and Zeus

Nemesis, like all the ancient deities, was a beautiful goddess. She was liked and followed by many gods. However, Zeus was the one who was able to trap her into raping her.

Zeus was all-powerful and had endless marital affairs. He would want to be in a relationship with all the charming goddesses and also the mortals.

He, to have a physical relation with Nemesis, planned on impressing her. But, nothing worked as per his plans. On the other hand, Nemesis, tired of Zeus following her, had turned herself into a goose.

Zeus found out about it and disguised himself into a swan. He raped her while being disguised as a swan and impregnated her.

7. Nemesis had punished Narcissus, who boasted of his beauty

Nemesis and Narcissus
Nemesis and Narcissus

Greek Mythology has several stories and myths related to the vengeance of Nemesis. The most famous one is about Narcissus, a hunter from Thespiae, Boeotia.

Narcissus was born to the god of the river Cephissus and nymph Liriope. He was known for his beauty. One day, he was walking in the woods and soon realized that someone was following him.

When he asked, he was returned with a tease, “who was there.” It was Echo, a mountain nymph, who saw him and instantly fell in love with him. She soon revealed her identity and tried to embrace him. 

But he stepped away and told her not to follow him. Echo, left heartbroken, spent the rest of her life in lonely glens. Thus, she became only a sound for others.

When Nemesis knew the story, she decided to punish Narcissus. Once, he was thirsty after hunting in the summer. The goddess lured him to the pool, where he saw his own reflection on the water.

He unknowingly developed a deep love for his own image. When he found he couldn’t leave his reflection, he starved to death there and turned into a gold and white flower.

6. Nemesis’s sacred attributes were a sword, lash, dagger, measuring rod, scales, bridle

A painting of Nemesis with her attributes sword
A painting of Nemesis with her attributes sword

Nemesis was the goddess who measured the portion of happiness and sorrow or fortune and catastrophe. She always carried her measuring rod and scales with her to perform her duty.

The balance of happiness was kept on one side and the balance of sorrow on the other. She would come with her balance to weigh the fate of a delighted person. This would make people very angry and scared.

Similarly, she measured the sorrow and crimes of people and punished them accordingly. She also used other weapons to perform her duty; for instance, a sword was used to punish people for their wrongdoing.

5. Nemesis is often depicted as a winged goddess with a sword and scales

Painting of Nemesis
Painting of Nemesis

Nemesis is often pictured as a figure having wings like a bird. She has white and big wings to let her fly in the sky. This way, she could be omniscient and see everybody.

The wings also let her chase the mortals so that nobody could escape from her. Besides, she is depicted as the goddess having a balance in her left hand and a sword in her right hand.

4. Nemesis’s counterpart is Invidia in Roman Mythology

Nemesis and Invidia
Nemesis and Invidia

All the deities of the ancient world had their counterpart in all different Empires and Religions. Likewise, Invidia was the Roman counterpart of the Greek Goddess Nemesis.

Invidia was associated with envy and evil, which made her part of witchcraft. The Roman women followed her and her path of witchcraft. They followed her path and learned the rituals for witchcraft.

Similarly, the Hindu counterpart of Nemesis was Lord Shani. He was a kind-natured god, honored by every follower of Hinduism.

3. Nemesis was angered by Naiad nymph Nicaea

Nemesis and Naiad Nymph Nicaea
Nemesis and Naiad Nymph Nicaea

Nemesis involved herself in love and took the side of the heartbroken lovers and avenged those who rejected them. 

Naiad nymph Nicaea, the daughter of Sangarius and Cybele who lived in the springs of the Greek colony.

Hymen, a shepherd, fell for her beauty and charm. He expressed his love and began to follow her. Nicaea, being the devotee of Artemis, was a huntress and wanted to remain chaste.

Hymen, despite knowing the truth about Nicaea, kept on following her. This angered Nicaea, and she killed him with a bow.

This incident was known to Nemesis, and justice was pleaded from her. Nemesis, in rage, thought of punishing Nicaea.

She took the help of Hypnos, the god of sleep, and drove Nicaea into slumber. Dionysus, the god of wine, raped and impregnated her.

Nicaea could not take the truth and committed suicide after giving birth to her child.

2. Nemeseia was a festival dedicated to Nemesis

Nemeseia – a festival dedicated to Nemesis

Nemesis was also called the goddess of Rhamnous, a district in northeastern Attica. She was honored and placated in an archaic sanctuary in this district.

According to Greek traveler Pausanias, the iconic statue of Nemesis was there in the sanctuary. There she had been made the daughter of Oceanus. The statue featured a crown of stags and little Nikes.

People feared their downfalls, so they tried to make the goddess happy. They believed that they could bring their catastrophe if the goddess’ cult were ignored. 

For this, they held a festival, Nemeseia, after her name. People celebrated her with worships, chants and also honored her statues.

1. Nemesis had taken out an eye of her own son

Greek goddess Nemesis
Greek goddess Nemesis

Nemesis was the mother of Ethan Nakamura. He was born with the union of Mr. Nakamura, a mortal. As a Titan, he had joined Titan Army during the Second Olympic War. 

Earlier, Nemesis didn’t claim him as her son. Because of it, he remained unrecognized. To get his fame, he entered Titan Army, but he betrayed them and was killed by Cronus.

Before that, Ethan met her mother, Nemesis. She had promised that one day, he would balance the world’s power. And it would be done in exchange for his left eye. So, she plucked up his left eye, and there he wore an eye patch over it.

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Conclusion

It is all webbed relations among Greek deities from Primordial deities to twelve Olympians. The predated goddess can be mated with Zeus, who is far behind the ages. Interesting!

Anyway Nemesis was the stronger deity who could bring about others’ downfall. After these above ten facts, I feel excited to learn more about her hidden children. Let me know what you think of her in the comment section. 

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