Iris was the personification of the rainbow, which the Ancient Greeks believed to be the dress of the goddess. Just as the rainbow is a bridge to heaven, Iris was also the mediator between the gods and men, revealing to men the will of the gods.
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 HarpiesAccording to one 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.
Iris was chosen by the gods to carry water from the Styx (the river of oaths) to Mount Olympus so that the gods could swear. Because she could move with the speed of the wind, Iris also acted as a messenger of the gods. She took orders from Zeus and the other deities from the "eye of heaven" and, gliding down the curve of the rainbow, she appeared before men in human form and revealed the orders to them.
Moreover, Iris was a goddess of the sea and the sky.
Iris always wore splendid dresses of beguiling colors. She had golden wings on her shoulders and winged sandals on her feet. When her wings were missing from artistic representations, she was depicted holding a caduceus, which was also a symbol of Iris.
The word iris means "eye of heaven" and is not only the name of the goddess, but nowadays also designates a flower and the apple of our eye.
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