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Birth of Athena - ATHENA:Goddess Of Wisdom And War

For Athena, born out of Zeus's head, owed no loyalty to any mother. The goddess of war, unlike her aggressive half-brother Ares, the god of war, had little taste for blood. Though often depicted in full armor—helmeted, with spear and shield—Athena derived more pleasure from peaceful resolutions of disputes than from battle. In keeping with her aversion to bloodlust, Athena was also merciful. When seated on the tribunal that tried Orestes for murdering his mother after she had murdered his father, for example, Athena voted for acquittal see All's Not Fair in Love and War: The Fall of Troy.

Athena hid the infant Erichthonius in a basket and presented it to the three daughters of King Cecrops of Athens. She warned them not to open the lid of the basket. But two of the girls disobeyed. Shocked to see a child with a snake's tail instead of legs, the two sisters ran off a cliff and died. So Athena took him back and reared him with great love and tenderness in her shrine on the Acropolis.

Though she shunned warfare, when forced into battle she proved nearly invincible. A brilliant strategist, she twice defeated the war god Ares on the battlefield.

Greek "Virgin Goddess" Archetype

The goddess of both war and wisdom often rewarded those who demonstrated bravery or ingenuity. For instance, she helped Perseus another child of Zeus kill the Gorgon Medusa. Afterward, she proudly displayed the head of the slain Medusa in the center of her shield. Athena also acted as Odysseus's special protector.

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When the hero finally arrived back home in Ithaca after 20 years, Athena—though in disguise—appeared to greet him see Take the Long Way Home: Odysseus. Odysseus returned the favor of her deceit by lying about who he was. With a laugh, Athena revealed her true identity and admitted that she and Odysseus were two of a kind, shrewd liars both. A virginal goddess, Athena remained chaste despite many potential suitors.

During the Trojan War, however, she experienced a very close call. Athena placed the face of Medusa on her breast plate.


Athena was also an ally of many big heroes, namely Odysseus and Heracles Hercules. For Odysseus she was always there, as testified in the Odyssey. This is a perfect rendition of the life and work of Athena.

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Athena totally ran away from the unfortunate Hephaestus, but she didn't move quite fast enough and he ejaculated on her leg. Athena was completely grossed out, and wiped it off with a piece of wool that she then dropped on the Earth. That would be Gaia , and she was fertilized by the semen on the wool.

Gaia was revolted at the very idea of it, and so she refused to bring the child up. Athena was fine with this and decided to bring the kid, who she named Erichthonius "Earth-born" , up herself. There is more to this story involving love, suicide, and people getting turned into stone , but if you want to know it, you better check it out in the Myth Pages.

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  7. Unfortunately it is not there yet, so you're just gonna have to wait. In general, Athena was a really nice goddess. She was very modest, like Artemis , but much more generous.

    Athena, like Artemis, was surprised by an enraptured onlooker while bathing, but she didn't kill him or transform him or rip him to shreds or anything. She laid her hands over his eyes and blinded him, but gave him inward sight and the ability to understand the birds' signs to tell the future. As a result, Teiresias that was his name was highly respected and revered from then on. So that wasn't bad at all.

    Athena, Greek Goddess of Wisdom and War

    Athena was, as I said, generally cool. But every once in a while she got all pissy as gods tend to get and lashed out. Once, was a rather minor incident when she invented this double stemmed flute. She was really excited about it, and went around playing it everywhere. That is, until someone happened to mention that she looked absolutely ridiculous with her cheeks puffed out like that to play. She was furious and threw the flute onto the ground where it was picked up by Marsyas , but that's another story.

    The one time Athena really lost it for something petty was in the story of Arachne, and that story isn't even really Greek. Arachne was this Lydian princess who was a fabulous weaver. She was so good that people said she was better than Athena. Athena heard and was all like, "Excuuuuuuse me?

    Please girl, I was weaving before humans existed," and challenged Arachne to a weave-off. They both made beautiful tapestries, and both were completely flawless, except Arachne's made fun of the Gods. Athena was bitter and very pissed and ripped Arachne's work to shreds in a cold, vengeful rage. Arachne totally didn't mean to upset her heroine and hung herself, but Athena remembered herself, and saved the girl by turning her into a spider and giving her the ability to weave forever. In a variation on the same theme, Servius reports that Athena loved this Attic chick, but the girl Myrmex went out and betrayed Athena's trust by claiming to have invented the plow herself, when it was really Athena.

    See, if they were both mortal, there would have been all this drama, someone would have gone home crying Athena is often referred to in mythology, but if you don't know her names, sometimes these references can be hard to catch. She is often called Pallas, or Pallas Athene. This name comes from a childhood friend she had, a nymph, who she accidentally killed when they were having a mock battle.

    Athena was distraught and carried her friend's name with her forever more. The name, Pallas, means Maiden.