Eirene 1 (Peace), one of the HORAE, holds the child Plutus (Wealth).
8629: Eirene and Plutos. Kephisodotos, Roman copy of Greek original c. 370 BC. München Glyptothek (Royal Cast Collection, Copenhagen).
Eirene 1 is Peace.
The Titaness Themis is
said to have laid down all laws and ordinances
established by custom; this wisdom, some believe,
she receives from Zeus while she sits leaning towards him in Olympus. From the union of these two, Eirene 1 (Peace), who is one of the Seasons or Hours, was born, having in her the heavenly qualities of what is calm, quiet and still. That is why Eirene 1, whom Zeus loves, provides always
Since she attends the works of mortals, Eirene 1 has been called the fairest of the goddesses; and those who live according to her instructions dwell in ease, seeing their cities flourish, enjoying prosperity, and being loved by the gods. For Peace is regarded, along with her sisters Justice and Order
(Eunomia), as the secure foundation of cities, and
as the one who opens all gates leading to
prosperity and anything derived from it. That is
why artists has shown her as the nurse of
Wealth, and poets have
called her the nurse of
MUSES' dearest friend, the
great blessing of mankind, and the foe of all
Yet, to those undeveloped in their tastes, she
might appear as a boring goddess, deprived of every
kind of excitement, and closing the way to
Fame and even greater
prosperity. And following these bizarre ideas, they
may cast away all her blessings, and after
banishing her, embark in war or other forms of
wicked violence. But when Peace, who is brought by
Love, leaves, and
Zeus decrees war against
the violent, they, falling under the compelling
power of Necessity
(Ananke), lose initiative
in their own lives. And being forgotten by the
MUSES, who depart with
their friend, they must lead a life in ugliness.
And he who takes his lessons from Peace, both
without and within, is free from toil and grief,
whereas those who banish her learn from sorrows and
Necessity, who knows no
And when a whole land casts Peace away it founds
itself in an upside-down world:
"In peace sons
bury their fathers, in war fathers bury their
sons." (Herodotus, History 1.87.4).
… with different signals and sounds:
"In peace the
sleeper is waked not by the trumpet, but by the
cock." (Plutarch, Parallel
Lives Nicias 9.5).
… although it is also said that the cocks are those who:
"… arouse us for battle by inducing an eagerness for valour." (Plutarch, Moralia 1049a).
But regardless of the role of the cocks during
peace-time and war-time, some have noticed that
even though it is the young who are buried in war,
it is nevertheless they who want war, whereas the
elderly, tamed by Old Age,
usually prefer Peace. For
Youth, they believe,
relying mainly on strength, easily gives herself to
War itself may be called necessary or inevitable, but it is seldom called desirable. That is why those who, right or wrong, by necessity or by ambition, advocate for war, proclaim at the same time that war must be, not for its own sake but for the sake of Peace, just as business is for the sake of leisure, or necessary things for the sake of higher things. Everyone knows that war is followed by Peace and
yet, it has been remarked, there are such states
that survive war but perish in peace-time or fall
into disorder on account of the inability of their
citizens to properly employ leisure, which is to
business as Peace is to war. For peaceful leisure,
they add, which is the enjoyment of prosperity,
tend to make them insolent. And since insolence
contributes to disturb Peace, it has been deemed
desirable and of the utmost importance, that those
who enjoy prosperity and are therefore more
influential, be self-restrained, compassionate and
workings of Envy are warded off, if a man who
attains the summit and dwells in peace escapes
dread arrogance." (Pindar, Pythian
For Peace cannot be without
Justice, and none of them will remain if disorder prevails. That is why the three sisters Eirene 1, Dike and Eunomia are often
mentioned in the same breath; and when one leaves,
the others follow.
These three sisters are venerated practically by
all. For it is never declared that it is a good
thing to scorn Justice, destroy Peace, or live in disorder. Yet some apparently believe that the goddesses
can be separately worshipped, since it is heard,
for example, that Peace must be banished for the
sake of Justice, or that
Justice must be suspended in order to preserve Order. This is an illusion, and a most peculiar way of looking at things, since the three sisters are inseparable. And that is why those who in practical life separate them, sensing the abnormality of their own way of thinking, present that separation as a provisional or unwanted state of affairs, yet necessary in order to better serve the three goddesses at a later time. For no matter how much someone goes in practical
life against these goddesses, he will still claim
to serve and worship them, since the immense power
of Peace and her sisters, prevents anybody from
denying them, or even talking against them.
Yet some have affirmed that these are not goddesses, and they prefer to call them "abstractions," saying that these are not personal deities, but properties inherent in ourselves, or objects of our desire. Their view, however, has no practical relevance, and leads no farther; for they are nevertheless bound to serve and worship the abstractions, as if they were deities. And it is as difficult to investigate the nature of these abstractions as it is to investigate the nature of the gods.
Another with identical name
Eirene 2 was a woman of Calaurea, the island (Poros) in the entrance of the Saronic Gulf off the Argolid coast. She was daughter of Poseidon and
Melantheia, daughter of the river god Alpheus.