Archaeologists have found traces of a temple built for the Greek goddess of divine retribution, Nemesis, during excavations in the ancient city of Agora in the Aegean port city of İzmir. Akın Ersoy of Dokuz Eylül University‘s archaeology department and heading the archaeological excavations in the ancient city, told the Anatolia news agency on Monday that they speculated there might be a temple built for Nemesis in the area.
“We found traces of such a temple during our excavations in Agora,” he said.
“We want to concentrate our work to unearth the temple in the future.”
“NemesiV” (Nemesis) literally translates to “Dispenser of Dues”. According to Theoi.com:
NEMESIS was the goddess of indignation against, and retribution for, evil deeds and undeserved good fortune. She was a personification of the resentment aroused in men by those who committed crimes with apparent impunity, or who had inordinate good fortune.
Nemesis directed human affairs in such a way as to maintain equilibrium. Her name means she who distributes or deals out. Happiness and unhappiness were measured out by her, care being taken that happiness was not too frequent or too excessive. If this happened, Nemesis could bring about losses and suffering. As one who checked extravagant favours by Tykhe (Fortune), Nemesis was regarded as an avenging or punishing divinity.
Her attributes were an apple-branch, rein, lash, sword, and balance.
Some ancient sources attribute her to be the mother of Helene of Troy (formerly of Sparta). She also had cults devoted her.
At first I wondered why there were temples (which then require upkeep and devoted priest/esses). But then, I thought on how the gods were not only asked for favors and blessings, but also to avoid ill will and retribution. In addition, I imagine people in antiquity, feeling jealousy or righteous anger, would go to the temple and ask for retribution on their behalf, calling the attention of Nemesis to how they were wronged.
Upon researching Her more, I also found an emphasis on balance, particularly against Tykhe (Fortune). As it is said in Delphi: All things in moderation.