Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about Eirene, or Irene, Greek Goddess of Peace:
Eirene, or Irene, Greek for “peace;” the Roman equivalent was Pax, one of the Horae, was the personification of peace, and was depicted in art as a beautiful young woman carrying a cornucopia, sceptre and a torch or rhyton. She is said sometimes to be the daughter of Zeus and Themis. [My note: Themis was a goddess of Justice.]
She was particularly well regarded by the citizens of Athens. After a naval victory over Sparta in 375 BC, the Athenians established a cult for Eirene, erecting altars to her. They held an annual state sacrifice to her after 371 BC to commemorate the Common Peace of that year and set up a votive statue in her honour in the agora (marketplace) of Athens. The statue was executed in bronze by Cephisodotus the Elder, the father of the famous sculptor Praxiteles. It was acclaimed by the Athenians, who depicted it on vases and coins.
Although the statue is now lost, it was copied in marble by the Romans; one of the best surviving copies is in the Munich Glyptothek. It depicts the goddess carrying a child with her left arm – Ploutos, the god of plenty and son of Demeter, the goddess of agriculture. Eirene’s missing right hand once held a sceptre. She is shown gazing maternally at Ploutos, who is looking back at her trustingly. The statue is an allegory for Plenty (Ploutos) prospering under the protection of Peace (Eirene); it constituted a public appeal to good sense.
My most recent experience of Irene was of a hurricane of the same name. I found it ironic, given all the well-warranted hoopla, that she was named after the Goddess of Peace. Peace around Hurricane Irene? Not so much.
We were blessed with lots of bluster, some rain, and no damage unlike many of our friends along the East coast of the United States. Bless you, Irene. Thanks for drawing our attention to Peace—yet again.
By Susan Corso | For spiritual nourishment, please visit www.susancorso.com