Nemesis Bearer Of Justice  

Posted by Stella Clark

Nemesis Bearer Of Justice Cover
NEMESIS was the personification of divine justice and the vengeance of the gods, sometimes called the daughter of Night. She represented the righteous anger of the gods against the proud and haughty and against breakers of the law; she distributed good or bad fortune to all mortals. No one could escape her power.

Nemesis has been described as the daughter of Oceanus or Zeus, but according to Hesiod she was a child of Erebus and Nyx. She has also been described as the daughter of Nyx alone. Her cult may have originated at Smyrna.

In some metaphysical mythology, Nemesis produced the egg from which hatched two sets of twins: Helen of Troy and Clytemnestra, and the Dioscuri, Castor and Pollux. While many myths indicate Zeus and Leda to be the parents of Helen of Troy, the author of the compilation of myth called Bibliotheke notes the possibility of Nemesis being the mother of Helen; Nemesis, to avoid Zeus, turns into a goose, but he turns into a swan and mates with her. Nemesis in her bird form lays an egg that is discovered in the marshes by a shepherd, who passes the egg to Leda. It is in this way that Leda comes to be the mother of Helen, as she kept the egg in a chest until it hatched.

Invidia (sometimes called Pax-Nemesis) was also worshipped at Rome by victorious generals, and in imperial times was the patroness of gladiators and of the venatores, who fought in the arena with wild beasts, and was one of the tutelary deities of the drilling-ground (Nemesis campestris). Invidia was sometimes, but rarely, seen on imperial coinage, mainly under Claudius and Hadrian. In the 3rd century AD there is evidence of the belief in an all-powerful Nemesis-Fortuna. She was worshipped by a society called Hadrian's freedman. The poet Mesomedes wrote a hymn to Nemesis in the early 2nd century CE, where he addressed her:

Nemesis, winged balancer of life,
dark-faced goddess, daughter of Justice,

and mentioned her "adamantine bridles" that restrain "the frivolous insolences of mortals."

In early times the representations of Nemesis resembled Aphrodite, who herself sometimes bears the epithet Nemesis. Later, as the maiden goddess of proportion and the avenger of crime, she has as attributes a measuring rod (tally stick), a bridle, scales, a sword and a scourge, and rides in a chariot drawn by griffins.

Nemesis is also known to have been called by the name "Adrastia." Ammianus Marcellinus includes her in a digression on Justice following his description of the death of Gallus Caesar.

Nemesis's anger was seen as directed chiefly toward those guilty of arrogance (Hubris), particularly human arrogance towards the gods and their laws. Nemesis pursued the insolent and the wicked with inflexible vengeance. Her cult probably originated from Smyrna. She was described by Greek writers as the daughter of Oceanus or Zeus, but according to Hesiod she was a child of Erebus and Nyx.In English the meaning of the word nemesis has changed somewhat. It now usually means an ultimate or unbeatable enemy, as in the phrase "to meet one's nemesis." The sense of nemesis being a just punishment for hubris has generally been lost.

Further reading (free e-books):

Aleister Crowley - The Heart Of The Master
Janus Lacinius Therapus - The New Pearl Of Great Price.pdf

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This entry was posted on 9 June 2010 at Wednesday, June 09, 2010 . You can follow any responses to this entry through the .

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