In Ancient Greek the word Kairos means the right or critical, moment in time. The ancient Greeks had two words for time: Chronos and Kairos. The former referring to chronological or sequential time, while the latter signifies a proper or opportune time for action and has been associated with the releasing of the arrow in archery and the well-timed action of the shuttle in weaving. In archery, the word Kairos denotes the precise moment in which an arrow may be fired with sufficient force to penetrate a target. In the same way the figure penetrates the ring depicted in this design. Kairos is also an alternate spelling of the minor Greek deity Caerus, the god of luck and opportunity, and these themes are taken full advantage of in this composition. Even in the New Testament, "Kairos" means "the appointed time in the purpose of God," and in this sculpture, the fleeting instant in which the occasion to escape the underworld appeared it was not ignored or neglected.
Kairos is generally represented as a young beautiful god, never aging. He has been described as standing on tiptoe while running, and like Hermes, he has wings on his feet to fly on the wind. He has been known to hold a razor, or else scales balanced on a sharp edge, both attributes illustrating a fleeting balance of opportunity, which when missed, can never be recovered... MORE