The Goddess of Peace

Ten years ago on my vanished blog The Bohemian Democratic Register, I did a comparison of Irene Victoria Christensen Easton, to the goddess Eirene. RENE.

Irene stems from Eirene, and means “peace”. When I read Rena born two children – I was overjoyed! Irene was my, and Rosamond’s, Muse. I am poised to immortalize my muse! The folly over my long letter to Rena is well documented in this blog. Artaud, and the Dutchman, Vincent Van Gough, come to Bozeman to attend the Grand Cultural Ho and Show Down at High Noon. Pure Folly, ensues. The Bundy Boys grab a National Park in Oregon, whose trees are on fire, trees that might have been planted by Frank Buck, who is kin to Henry Brevoort. Frank was one of the first to practice replanting the forest he harvested – for the future – for his offspring! He owned a Cornucopia that became the Buck Foundation! To denude the forest of trees – is pure folly! We got heavy smoke, today! The guns are blazing! Here come the Juggalos!

Remember the Folly of Belle! Yeeeeeehaw! This is all right out of Rip Van Winkle – at the O.K. Coral. We are looking at the first Western, born in Holland. Belle’s poem honors the Inebriates in the Barmuda Triangle. Ignorance rules downtown Eugene where Frank Buck had an office. The homeless can’t fall asleep in the forest.

Erasmus wrote a humanist book that was the blueprint for the Renaissance and Reformation. The Praise of Folly launched a thousand ships when the Hapsburgs sent two fleets to destroy the Protestant Queen, this all paid for by the Conquistadors who  decimated the  Native Americans in order to get their gold.

Jon Presco

Copyright 2017

Folly parades as a goddess, offspring of Plutus, the god of wealth and a nymph, Freshness. She was nursed by two other nymphs, Inebriation and Ignorance

Given Name IRENE

GENDER: Feminine
OTHER SCRIPTS: Ειρηνη (Ancient Greek)
PRONOUNCED: ie-REEN (English), ie-REE-nee (English), ee-RE-ne (Italian), EE-re-ne (Finnish), ee-RE-nə (German)   [details]

Meaning & History

From Greek Ειρηνη (Eirene), derived from a word meaning “peace”. This was the name of the Greek goddess who personified peace, one of the ‘Ωραι (Horai).

Eirene (/ˈrni/; Greek: Εἰρήνη, Eirēnē, [eːrɛ́ːnɛː], lit. “Peace”),[1] more commonly known in English as Peace, was one of the Horae, the personification of peace. She was depicted in art as a beautiful young woman carrying a cornucopia, sceptre, and a torch or rhyton. She is said sometimes to be the daughter of Zeus and Themis. Her Roman equivalent was Pax.

She was particularly well regarded by the citizens of Athens. After a naval victory over Sparta in 375 BC, the Athenians established a cult for Peace, erecting altars to her. They held an annual state sacrifice to her after 371 BC to commemorate the Common Peace of that year and set up a votive statue in her honour in the Agora of Athens. The statue was executed in bronze by Cephisodotus the Elder, likely the father or uncle[2] of the famous sculptor Praxiteles. It was acclaimed by the Athenians, who depicted it on vases and coins.[3]

Although the statue is now lost, it was copied in marble by the Romans; one of the best surviving copies (right) is in the Munich Glyptothek. It depicts the goddess carrying a child with her left arm – Plutus, the god of plenty and son of Demeter, the goddess of agriculture. Peace’s missing right hand once held a sceptre. She is shown gazing maternally at Plutus, who is looking back at her trustingly. The statue is an allegory for Plenty (i.e., Plutus) prospering under the protection of Peace; it constituted a public appeal to good sense.[3] The copy in the Glyptothek was originally in the collection of the Villa Albani in Rome but was looted and taken to France by Napoleon I. Following Napoleon’s fall, the statue was bought by Ludwig I of Bavaria.[4]

Hans Holbein‘s witty marginal drawing of Folly (1515), in the first edition, a copy owned by Erasmus himself (Kupferstichkabinett, Basel)

Erasmus was a good friend of More, with whom he shared a taste for dry humor and other intellectual pursuits. The title “Morias Encomium” can also be read as meaning “In praise of More”. The double or triple meanings go on throughout the text.

The essay is filled with classical allusions delivered in a style typical of the learned humanists of the Renaissance. Folly parades as a goddess, offspring of Plutus, the god of wealth and a nymph, Freshness. She was nursed by two other nymphs, Inebriation and Ignorance. Her faithful companions include Philautia (self-love), Kolakia (flattery), Lethe (forgetfulness), Misoponia (laziness), Hedone (pleasure), Anoia (dementia), Tryphe (wantonness), and two gods, Komos (intemperance) and Nigretos Hypnos (heavy sleep). Folly praises herself endlessly, arguing that life would be dull and distasteful without her. Of earthly existence, Folly pompously states, “you’ll find nothing frolic or fortunate that it owes not to me.”


Moriae Encomium was hugely popular, to Erasmus’ astonishment and sometimes his dismay. Even Erasmus’ close friends had been initially skeptical, and warned him of possible dangers to himself from thus attacking the established religion. Even Leo X and Cisneros are said to have found it amusing.[2] Before Erasmus’ death it had already passed into numerous editions and had been translated into Czech, French and German. An English edition soon followed. It influenced teaching of rhetoric during the later sixteenth century, and the art of adoxography or praise of worthless subjects became a popular exercise in Elizabethan grammar schools: see Charles O. McDonald, The Rhetoric of Tragedy (Amherst, 1966). A copy of the Basel edition of 1515/16 was illustrated with pen and ink drawings by Hans Holbein the Younger.[3] These are the most famous illustrations of In Praise of Folly.

Its role in the beginnings of the Protestant Reformation[1] stem from the foundation of critique which the essay laid against the practices of the Church and its political allies.[4]

About Royal Rosamond Press

I am an artist, a writer, and a theologian.
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