Thursday, February 2, 2012

Arke (Greek Myth)



In Greek mythology, Arke or Arce was a daughter of Thaumas and sister of Iris. She is sometimes affiliated with the faded second rainbow. She is said to have more of an iridescent wings, compared to Iris's golden wings. During the Titanomachy, she betrayed the Olympian gods and joined the Titans against them, becoming the Titans' messenger goddess. When the Olympians won, Zeus deprived Arke of her wings and cast her into Tartarus, together with the other vanquished Titans. Arke's wings were later given to Peleus and Thetis as a gift on their wedding day; Thetis later gave them to her son Achilles, which is where his surname Podarces (literally "swift-footed", as if from πούς, gen. ποδός "foot" + the name of Arke) was thought to have come from.



Ptolemy Hephaestion, New History Book 6 (summary from Photius, Myriobiblon 190) (trans. Pearse) (Greek mythographer C1st to C2nd A.D.) :
"It is said . . . that he [Akhilleus, Achilles] was called Podarkes (Swift-Footed) by the Poet [i.e. Homer], because, it is said, Thetis gave the newborn child the wings of Arke and Podarkes means that his feet had the wings of Arke (Arce). And A rke was the daughter of Thaumas and her sister was Iris; both had wings, but, during the struggle of the gods against the Titanes (Titans), Arke flew out of the camp of the gods and joined the Titanes. After the victory Zeus removed her wings before throwing her into Tartaros and, when he came to the wedding of Peleus and Thetis, he brought these wings as a gift for Thetis."