Encyclopedia of History
Home > Encyclopedia of History

Iris



The messenger of the gods in the Iliad, an office which belongs to Hermes in the Odyssey. Iris (originally a personification of the rainbow) was the daughter of Thaumas and Electra, and sister of the Harpies. In the earlier poets she is a virgin goddess, but later writers make her wife of Zephyrus, and mother of Eros. She is frequently represented on vases and in bas-reliefs as a youthful winged virgin, dressed in a long tunic, with a herald's staff and a pitcher in her hands.


Related entry

   • Iris, the asteroid (Encyclopedia of Science)