BAR 33:04, Jul/Aug 2007
“Nemesis will have her dues.”1 The goddess Nemesis is depicted in this statue from the early third century A.D. as a griffin with its hand resting on the wheel of fortune. Her name comes from the Greek nemein, “to allot.” She is the Greek and Roman goddess of vengeance who doles out divine retribution for hubris, pride and undeserved good fortune. She was widely worshiped among Roman soldiers, who often saw themselves as avengers, beating down enemies who dared defy the empire, and her cult spread as they marched through Judea in the first century B.C. A courtyard from the second century A.D. is dedicated to Nemesis at the Temple of Zeus near Banyas. Some believe a temple in her name was erected near Ashkelon.