Ancient Art

Nike or Winged Goddess of Victory

A.D. 165–256

Tempera ? on cedar

38 × 11.5 × 0.75 cm (14 15/16 × 4 1/2 × 5/16 in.)
Yale-French Excavations at Dura-Europos
This panel on an enclosed shrine in the Palmyrene Gate shows a winged Victory alighting on a globe. She extends a palm branch and a wreath to crown a statue (perhaps a Tyche or an Emperor) that would have been housed within the shrine. Frontal, rigid in posture, and with hair and ornamentation like those found on objects elsewhere in Dura-Europos, Victory was especially popular with the Roman army. The army viewed her as an active divine force influencing human affairs and bringing military success.
Made in Syria
Excavated in Dura-Europos, Syria
Not on view
Syrian, Dura-Europos
Roman (2nd or 3rd century A.D.)

Excavated by the Yale-French Excavations at Dura-Europos (Palmyrene Gate), present-day Syria, 1928–37; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Conn.


Lisa R. Brody and Gail Hoffman, eds., Dura-Europos: Crossroads of Antiquity (Boston: McMullen Museum of Art, 2011), 38, 322, no. 2, pl. 2, fig. 2.4.

Michael I. Rostovtzeff, Professor Paul V. C. Baur, and Professor Alfred R. Bellinger, The Excavations at Dura-Europos: Preliminary Reports of the Excavations, 9 vols. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1929–44), vol. 2 frontispiece, pl. 1, fig. 1.1.

M. I. R., “Yale’s Work at Doura,” Bulletin of the Associates in Fine Arts at Yale University 4, no. 1 (1930): ill. back cover.

Katherine M Kiefer and Susan B. Matheson, Life in an Eastern Province: The Roman Fortress at Dura-Europos, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 1982), 6, no. 14.

Jennifer Chi and Sebastian Heath, eds., Edge of Empires: Pagans, Jews, and Christians at Roman Dura-Europos, exh. cat. (New York: Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, 2011), 54, no. 4, fig. 2–25.

Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.