Athena


Athena is also known as Pallas Athena or Athene. Athena is the Greek goddess of wisdom, war, the arts, industry, justice, and skill. She was the daughter of Zeus and Metis, goddess of wisdom and Zeus' first wife. Zeus feared that Metis might have a son who was mightier than Zeus himself, so he swallowed Metis. Metis began to make a robe and helmet for her daughter. The hammering of the helmet caused Zeus great pain, but the pain was in the form of headaches. Zeus' son, Hephaestus, ran to his father and split his skull open. Athena emerged from Zeus' head fully grown and wearing her mother's robe and helmet. Athena was Zeus' favorite child. Athena and her uncle Poseidon were fond of a city in Greece. They both claimed the city and decided whoever could give the finest gift should have the city. Poseidon struck the side of a cliff with his trident and a spring welled up. The people were amazed, but the water was salty and not very useful. Athena's gift was an olive tree, it gave the people food, oil, and wood. Athena's gift was way better. She named her city Athens. Athena's attribute is the owl and she possesses the Aegis, a goatskin breastplate with tassels. Athena's companion was the goddess of victory, Nike. Athena invented the horse-bit, which tamed horses allowing men to use them.

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athena.jpg
Athena, holding Nike in her hand

Athena's Aegis
Athena's Aegis

The owl of Athens
The owl of Athens
Links:
www.wesclinmythology.wikispaces.com
www.pantheon.com