Nemesis, the Balance

Goddess of Revenge and Retribution

There can be too much of a good thing....

...And it is the duty of the goddess Nemesis to make sure that everyone's happiness is equal. Feared by those who have committed crimes, or who's good fortune never seems to run out, Nemesis controls the balance of the world and punishes those who try to go above equality. She was depicted as a merciless and inescapable goddess, and was often portrayed with items such as a measuring rod, scales, or a sword.

Daughter of Whom?

Like many other gods and goddesses, the identities of Nemesis' birth parents are often a subject of controversy; some describe her as a daughter of Oceanus or Zeus, though the Greek poet Hesiod described her as the daughter of Erebus, god of darkness, and Nyx, goddess of the night.

Gallery

An abundance of fortune? Make sure Nemesis isn't watching....

Myths of Nemesis:

  • One of the most popular myths involving Nemesis is that of Echo and Narcissus, where a boy named Narcissus fell in love with his own reflection in a pond and was unable to leave the beautiful sight he saw until he wasted away, and was turned into a Narcissus flower by Nemesis' doing.
  • Another myth is that Nemesis, not Leda, was the one who gave birth to two legendary sets of twins: Helen of Troy and Clytemnestra, and Castor and Pollux. It is said that Nemesis turned into a goose to escape Zeus, who then turned into a swan and mated with her. Nemesis then lay the egg from which the two sets of twins hatched, but it was found by a shepherd and given to Leda.
  • Nemesis was considered to be as inescapable as fate itself, and even the other gods were not safe from her gaze.
Ancient Greek Music - Hymn to Nemesis