Wednesday, June 17, 2009


EIRENE (or Irene) was the goddess of peace (eirênê) and of the season of spring (eiar, eiarinos). Late spring was the usual campaign season in Greece when peace was most at risk. Eirene was one of three Horai, goddesses of the seasons and the keepers of the gates of heaven. Her sisters were Eunomia (Order or Good-Pasture) and Dike (Justice).

She was probably identified with the Hora Thallo (Green Shoots), whose name Hesiod gives to Eirene as an epithet in the Theogony. Her opposite number was Polemos (War).

In classical art she usually appears in the company of her two sister Horai bearing the fruits of the seasons. Statues of the goddess represent her as a maiden holding the infant Ploutos (Wealth) in her arms. In this guise she was identified with Demeter and Tykhe.