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Iris was the goddess of the rainbow and the messenger of the Olympian gods. She was often described as the handmaiden and personal messenger of Hera.
Iris is depicted in ancient Greek vase painting as a beautiful young woman with golden wings, a herald's rod, and sometimes a water-pitcher in her hand.
For the coastal-dwelling Greeks, the rainbow's arc was most often seen spanning the distance beteween cloud and sea, and so the goddess was believed to replenish the rain-clouds with water from the sea.
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