Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Greece

Iris was the personification of the rainbow and the female messenger of the gods.

Iris, the goddess of the rainbow

Iris was the personification of the rainbow, which the Ancient Greeks believed to be the goddess’s dress. Like the rainbow is a bridge to the sky, Iris was also the mediator between the gods and the humans, revealing the will of the gods to the people.

Family of Iris

Iris was the daughter of the sea god Thaumas and the Oceanid Electra. She was a granddaughter of Gaea (the goddess of Earth) and the sea god Pontus. She was a sister of the winged Harpies.
According to a myth, Iris mated with the Zephyr and created Eros, the winged god of love- although most authors mention her as a virgin in their myths.

Responsibilities of Iris

Iris was chosen by the gods to carry water from the Styx (the river of the Oaths), to Mount Olympus for the gods to swear by. Since she could move with the speed of the wind, Iris acted also like the messenger of the gods.She took the orders of Zeus and the other deities from the "eye of heaven" and, sliding down the curve of the rainbow,she appeared in front of the people in a human form and revealed the orders to them.
Furthermore, Iris was a goddess of the sea and the sky.

Appearance of Iris

Iris always wore splendid dresses with bewitching colors. She had gold wings attached to her shoulders and winged sandals on her feet. If her wings were missing in the artistic representations, she was pictured holding a caduceus, which was also a symbol of hers.

Definitions of Iris

the iris flower The word iris means "eye of heaven". It was the name given to the goddess Iris, a flower as well as the apple of our eye.

Iris means "rainbow" in ancient Greek.


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