Thursday, April 15, 2010


Invidia is the Roman goddess of envy and jealousy whom the Romans identified with Nemesis.

Appearance: As identified with Nemesis, Invidia was portrayed as a winged woman brandishing a sword and carrying scales. However, Invidia as envy and jealousy was also portrayed as a hideously thin hag, with serpents in her hair and with large fangs for teeth. Later in the middle ages, the goddess of envy was portrayed as having green eyes and a serpent for a tongue. For images of Invidia, click HERE, HERE, and HERE.

Lore: As goddess of envy, Invidia was used by the gods to punish mortals for their offences. The explanation for why envy is so heartless is because Invidia ripped out her own heart and devoured it. Invidia takes delight in the suffering and pain of others and suffers when others prosper or are successful. As for her home, Invidia is believed to dwell in a foul, disgusting cave where the sun never shines and where the wind never blows. There she passes her time, until needed, by feeding upon serpents.

Powers: Invidia poisons her victims by her mere touch as well as her breathing her noxious breath upon them. Once infected, the victim becomes obsessed with envy, metaphorically consuming their own hearts just as the goddess was believed to have done. Invidia's main power is that of the evil eye, which is the envious stare. Such is believed by most cultures to bring misfortune.

Invidia In Christianity: Invidia has survived in Christianity as one of the seven deadly sins. Envy was personified by early Christian authors and much in the same fashion as the pagan view of her as being a hideous hag.


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