Goddess of wisdom, warfare, and handicraft
From her origin as an Aegean palace goddess, Athena was closely associated with the city. She was known as Polias and Poliouchos (both derived from polis, meaning "city-state"), and her temples were usually located atop the fortified acropolis in the central part of the city. The Parthenon on the Athenian Acropolis is dedicated to her, along with numerous other temples and monuments. As the patron of craft and weaving, Athena was known as Ergane. She was also a warrior goddess, and was believed to lead soldiers into battle as Athena Promachos. Her main festival in Athens was the Panathenaia, which was celebrated during the month of Hekatombaion in midsummer and was the most important festival on the Athenian calendar.
She plays an active role in the
Athena is associated with the city of
In his dialogue Cratylus, the ancient Greek philosopher Plato (428–347 BC) gives some rather imaginative etymologies of Athena's name, based on the theories of the ancient Athenians and his etymological speculations:
That is a graver matter, and there, my friend, the modern interpreters of Homer may, I think, assist in explaining the view of the ancients. Most of these in their explanations of the poet, assert that he meant by Athena "mind" [νοῦς, noũs] and "intelligence" [διάνοια, diánoia], and the maker of names appears to have had a singular notion about her; and indeed calls her by a still higher title, "divine intelligence" [θεοῦ νόησις, theoũ nóēsis], as though he would say: This is she who has the mind of God [ἁ θεονόα, a theonóa]. Perhaps, however, the name Theonoe may mean "she who knows divine things" [τὰ θεῖα νοοῦσα, ta theia noousa] better than others. Nor shall we be far wrong in supposing that the author of it wished to identify this Goddess with moral intelligence [εν έθει νόεσιν, en éthei nóesin], and therefore gave her the name Etheonoe; which, however, either he or his successors have altered into what they thought a nicer form, and called her Athena.— Plato, Cratylus 407b
Thus, Plato believed that Athena's name was derived from Greek Ἀθεονόα, Atheonóa—which the later Greeks rationalised as from the deity's (θεός, theós) mind (νοῦς, noũs). The second-century AD orator Aelius Aristides attempted to derive natural symbols from the etymological roots of Athena's names to be aether, air, earth, and moon.
Athena was originally the
Nilsson and others have claimed that, in early times, Athena was either an
It is generally agreed that the cult of Athena preserves some aspects of the
Plato notes that the citizens of
Cult and patronages
Panhellenic and Athenian cult
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In her aspect of Athena Polias, Athena was venerated as the goddess of the city and the protectress of the citadel. In Athens, the Plynteria, or "Feast of the Bath", was observed every year at the end of the month of Thargelion. The festival lasted for five days. During this period, the priestesses of Athena, or plyntrídes, performed a cleansing ritual within the Erechtheion, a sanctuary devoted to Athena and Poseidon. Here Athena's statue was undressed, her clothes washed, and body purified. Athena was worshipped at festivals such as Chalceia as Athena Ergane, the patroness of various crafts, especially weaving. She was also the patron of metalworkers and was believed to aid in the forging of armor and weapons. During the late fifth century BC, the role of goddess of philosophy became a major aspect of Athena's cult.
As Athena Promachos, she was believed to lead soldiers into battle. Athena represented the disciplined, strategic side of war, in contrast to her brother Ares, the patron of violence, bloodlust, and slaughter—"the raw force of war". Athena was believed to only support those fighting for a just cause and was thought to view war primarily as a means to resolve conflict. The Greeks regarded Athena with much higher esteem than Ares. Athena was especially worshipped in this role during the festivals of the Panathenaea and Pamboeotia, both of which prominently featured displays of athletic and military prowess. As the patroness of heroes and warriors, Athena was believed to favor those who used cunning and intelligence rather than brute strength.
In her aspect as a warrior maiden, Athena was known as
Athena was also credited with creating the pebble-based form of divination. Those pebbles were called thriai, which was also the collective name of a group of nymphs with prophetic powers. Her half-brother Apollo however, angered and spiteful at the practitioners of an art rival to his own, complained to their father Zeus about it, with the pretext that many people took to casting pebbles, but few actually were true prophets. Zeus, sympathizing with Apollo's grievances, discredited the pebble divination by rendering the pebbles useless. Apollo's words became the basis of an ancient Greek idiom.
Athena was not only the patron goddess of Athens, but also other cities, including
Athena had a major temple on the Spartan Acropolis, where she was venerated as Poliouchos and Khalkíoikos ("of the Brazen House", often latinized as Chalcioecus). This epithet may refer to the fact that cult statue held there may have been made of bronze, that the walls of the temple itself may have been made of bronze, or that Athena was the patron of metal-workers. Bells made of terracotta and bronze were used in Sparta as part of Athena's cult. An Ionic-style temple to Athena Polias was built at Priene in the fourth century BC. It was designed by Pytheos of Priene, the same architect who designed the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. The temple was dedicated by Alexander the Great and an inscription from the temple declaring his dedication is now held in the British Museum.
Epithets and attributes
Athena was known as Atrytone (Άτρυτώνη "the Unwearying"), Parthenos (Παρθένος "Virgin"), and Promachos (Πρόμαχος "she who fights in front"). The epithet Polias (Πολιάς "of the city"), refers to Athena's role as protectress of the city. The epithet Ergane (Εργάνη "the Industrious") pointed her out as the patron of craftsmen and artisans. Burkert notes that the Athenians sometimes simply called Athena "the Goddess", hē theós (ἡ θεός), certainly an ancient title. After serving as the judge at the trial of Orestes in which he was acquitted of having murdered his mother Clytemnestra, Athena won the epithet Areia (Αρεία). Some have described Athena, along with the goddesses Hestia and Artemis as being asexual, this is mainly supported by the fact that in the Homeric Hymns, 5, To Aphrodite, where Aphrodite is described as having "no power" over the three goddesses.
Athena was sometimes given the epithet Hippia (Ἵππια "of the horses", "equestrian"), referring to her invention of the bit, bridle, chariot, and wagon. The Greek geographer Pausanias mentions in his Guide to Greece that the temple of Athena Chalinitis ("the bridler") in Corinth was located near the tomb of Medea's children. Other epithets include Ageleia, Itonia and Aethyia, under which she was worshiped in Megara. The word aíthyia (αἴθυια) signifies a "diver", also some diving bird species (possibly the shearwater) and figuratively, a "ship", so the name must reference Athena teaching the art of shipbuilding or navigation. In a temple at Phrixa in Elis, reportedly built by Clymenus, she was known as Cydonia (Κυδωνία). Pausanias wrote that at Buporthmus there was a sanctuary of Athena Promachorma (Προμαχόρμα), meaning protector of the anchorage.
The Greek biographer Plutarch (AD 46–120) refers to an instance during the construction of the Propylaia of her being called Athena Hygieia (Ὑγίεια, i. e. personified "Health") after inspiring a physician to a successful course of treatment.
At Athens there is the temple of Athena Phratria, as patron of a phratry, in the Ancient Agora of Athens.
In Homer's epic works, Athena's most common epithet is Glaukopis (γλαυκῶπις), which usually is translated as, "bright-eyed" or "with gleaming eyes". The word is a combination of glaukós (γλαυκός, meaning "gleaming, silvery", and later, "bluish-green" or "gray") and ṓps (ὤψ, "eye, face").
The word glaúx (γλαύξ, "little owl") is from the same root, presumably according to some, because of the bird's own distinctive eyes. Athena was associated with the owl from very early on; in archaic images, she is frequently depicted with an owl perched on her hand. Through its association with Athena, the owl evolved into the national mascot of the Athenians and eventually became a symbol of wisdom.
In the Iliad (4.514), the Odyssey (3.378), the Homeric Hymns, and in Hesiod's Theogony, Athena is also given the curious epithet Tritogeneia (Τριτογένεια), whose significance remains unclear. It could mean various things, including "Triton-born", perhaps indicating that the homonymous sea-deity was her parent according to some early myths. One myth relates the foster father relationship of this Triton towards the half-orphan Athena, whom he raised alongside his own daughter Pallas. Kerényi suggests that "Tritogeneia did not mean that she came into the world on any particular river or lake, but that she was born of the water itself; for the name Triton seems to be associated with water generally." In Ovid's Metamorphoses, Athena is occasionally referred to as "Tritonia".
Another possible meaning may be "triple-born" or "third-born", which may refer to a triad or to her status as the third daughter of Zeus or the fact she was born from Metis, Zeus, and herself; various legends list her as being the first child after Artemis and Apollo, though other legends identify her as Zeus' first child. Several scholars have suggested a connection to the Rigvedic god Trita, who was sometimes grouped in a body of three mythological poets. Michael Janda has connected the myth of Trita to the scene in the Iliad in which the "three brothers" Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades divide the world between them, receiving the "broad sky", the sea, and the underworld respectively. Janda further connects the myth of Athena being born of the head (i. e. the uppermost part) of Zeus, understanding Trito- (which perhaps originally meant "the third") as another word for "the sky". In Janda's analysis of Indo-European mythology, this heavenly sphere is also associated with the mythological body of water surrounding the inhabited world (cfr. Triton's mother, Amphitrite).
Yet another possible meaning is mentioned in Diogenes Laertius' biography of Democritus, that Athena was called "Tritogeneia" because three things, on which all mortal life depends, come from her.
She was the daughter of Zeus, produced without a mother, and emerged full-grown from his forehead. There was an alternate story that Zeus swallowed Metis, the goddess of counsel, while she was pregnant with Athena and when she was fully grown she emerged from Zeus' forehead. Being the favorite child of Zeus, she had great power. In the classical Olympian pantheon, Athena was regarded as the favorite child of Zeus, born fully armed from his forehead.[h] The story of her birth comes in several versions. The earliest mention is in Book V of the Iliad, when Ares accuses Zeus of being biased in favor of Athena because "autos egeinao" (literally "you fathered her", but probably intended as "you gave birth to her"). She was essentially urban and civilized, the antithesis in many respects of Artemis, goddess of the outdoors. Athena was probably a pre-Hellenic goddess and was later taken over by the Greeks. In the version recounted by
After swallowing Metis, Zeus took six more wives in succession until he married his seventh and present wife, Hera. Then Zeus experienced an enormous headache. He was in such pain that he ordered someone (either Prometheus, Hephaestus, Hermes, Ares, or Palaemon, depending on the sources examined) to cleave his head open with the labrys, the double-headed Minoan axe. Athena leaped from Zeus's head, fully grown and armed. The "First Homeric Hymn to Athena" states in lines 9–16 that the gods were awestruck by Athena's appearance and even Helios, the god of the sun, stopped his chariot in the sky. Pindar, in his "Seventh Olympian Ode", states that she "cried aloud with a mighty shout" and that "the Sky and mother Earth shuddered before her."
Hesiod states that Hera was so annoyed at Zeus for having given birth to a child on his own that she conceived and bore
Athena's epithet Pallas is derived either from πάλλω, meaning "to brandish [as a weapon]", or, more likely, from παλλακίς and related words, meaning "youth, young woman". On this topic, Walter Burkert says "she is the Pallas of Athens, Pallas Athenaie, just as Hera of Argos is Here Argeie." In later times, after the original meaning of the name had been forgotten, the Greeks invented myths to explain its origins, such as those reported by the Epicurean philosopher Philodemus and the Bibliotheca of Pseudo-Apollodorus, which claim that Pallas was originally a separate entity, whom Athena had slain in combat.
In one version of the myth,
The palladium was a statue of Athena that was said to have stood in her temple on the Trojan Acropolis. Athena was said to have carved the statue herself in the likeness of her dead friend Pallas. The statue had special talisman-like properties and it was thought that, as long as it was in the city, Troy could never fall. When the Greeks captured Troy, Cassandra, the daughter of Priam, clung to the palladium for protection, but Ajax the Lesser violently tore her away from it and dragged her over to the other captives. Athena was infuriated by this violation of her protection. Although Agamemnon attempted to placate her anger with sacrifices, Athena sent a storm at Cape Kaphereos to destroy almost the entire Greek fleet and scatter all of the surviving ships across the Aegean.
Lady of Athens
In Homer's Iliad, Athena, as a war goddess, inspired and fought alongside the Greek heroes; her aid was synonymous with military prowess. Also in the Iliad, Zeus, the chief god, specifically assigned the sphere of war to Ares, the god of war, and Athena. Athena's moral and military superiority to Ares derived in part from the fact that she represented the intellectual and civilized side of war and the virtues of justice and skill, whereas Ares represented mere blood lust. Her superiority also derived in part from the vastly greater variety and importance of her functions and the patriotism of Homer's predecessors, Ares being of foreign origin. In the Iliad, Athena was the divine form of the heroic, martial ideal: she personified excellence in close combat, victory, and glory. The qualities that led to victory were found on the aegis, or breastplate, that Athena wore when she went to war: fear, strife, defense, and assault. Athena appears in Homer's Odyssey as the tutelary deity of Odysseus, and myths from later sources portray her similarly as the helper of Perseus and Heracles (Hercules). As the guardian of the welfare of kings, Athena became the goddess of good counsel, prudent restraint and practical insight, and war. In a
Afterwards, Poseidon was so angry over his defeat that he sent one of his sons, Halirrhothius, to cut down the tree. But as he swung his axe, he missed his aim and it fell in himself, killing him. This was supposedly the origin of calling Athena's sacred olive tree moria, for Halirrhotius's attempt at revenge proved fatal (moros in Greek). Poseidon in fury accused Ares of murder, and the matter was eventually settled on the Areopagus ("hill of Ares") in favour of Ares, which was thereafter named after the event.
Erichthonius was one of the most important founding heroes of Athens and the legend of the daughters of Cecrops was a cult myth linked to the rituals of the Arrhephoria festival. Pausanias records that, during the Arrhephoria, two young girls known as the Arrhephoroi, who lived near the temple of Athena Polias, would be given hidden objects by the priestess of Athena, which they would carry on their heads down a natural underground passage. They would leave the objects they had been given at the bottom of the passage and take another set of hidden objects, which they would carry on their heads back up to the temple. The ritual was performed in the dead of night and no one, not even the priestess, knew what the objects were. The serpent in the story may be the same one depicted coiled at Athena's feet in Pheidias's famous statue of the Athena Parthenos in the Parthenon. Many of the surviving sculptures of Athena show this serpent.
Herodotus records that a serpent lived in a crevice on the north side of the summit of the Athenian Acropolis and that the Athenians left a honey cake for it each month as an offering. On the eve of the Second Persian invasion of Greece in 480 BC, the serpent did not eat the honey cake and the Athenians interpreted it as a sign that Athena herself had abandoned them. Another version of the myth of the Athenian maidens is told in Metamorphoses by the Roman poet Ovid (43 BC – 17 AD); in this late variant Hermes falls in love with Herse. Herse, Aglaulus, and Pandrosus go to the temple to offer sacrifices to Athena. Hermes demands help from Aglaulus to seduce Herse. Aglaulus demands money in exchange. Hermes gives her the money the sisters have already offered to Athena. As punishment for Aglaulus's greed, Athena asks the goddess Envy to make Aglaulus jealous of Herse. When Hermes arrives to seduce Herse, Aglaulus stands in his way instead of helping him as she had agreed. He turns her to stone.
Athena gave her favour to an Attic girl named Myrsine, a chaste girl who outdid all her fellow athletes in both the palaestra and the race. Out of envy, the other athletes murdered her, but Athena took pity in her and transformed her dead body into a myrtle, a plant thereafter as favoured by her as the olive was. An almost exact story was said about another girl, Elaea, who transformed into an olive, Athena's sacred tree.
Patron of heroes
According to Pseudo-Apollodorus's Bibliotheca, Athena advised
Athena and Heracles on ankylix, 480–470 BC
Silver coin showing Athena with Scylla decorated helmet and Heracles fighting the Nemean lion (Heraclea Lucania, 390-340 BC)
The Gorgoneion appears to have originated as an apotropaic symbol intended to ward off evil. In a late myth invented to explain the origins of the Gorgon, Medusa is described as having been a young priestess who served in the temple of Athena in Athens. Poseidon lusted after Medusa, and raped her in the temple of Athena, refusing to allow her vow of chastity to stand in his way. Upon discovering the desecration of her temple, Athena transformed Medusa into a hideous monster with serpents for hair whose gaze would turn any mortal to stone.
In his Twelfth Pythian Ode, Pindar recounts the story of how Athena invented the aulos, a kind of flute, in imitation of the lamentations of Medusa's sisters, the Gorgons, after she was beheaded by the hero Perseus. According to Pindar, Athena gave the aulos to mortals as a gift. Later, the comic playwright Melanippides of Melos (c. 480-430 BC) embellished the story in his comedy Marsyas, claiming that Athena looked in the mirror while she was playing the aulos and saw how blowing into it puffed up her cheeks and made her look silly, so she threw the aulos away and cursed it so that whoever picked it up would meet an awful death. The aulos was picked up by the satyr Marsyas, who was later killed by Apollo for his hubris. Later, this version of the story became accepted as canonical and the Athenian sculptor Myron created a group of bronze sculptures based on it, which was installed before the western front of the Parthenon in around 440 BC.
A myth told by the early third-century BC Hellenistic poet Callimachus in his Hymn 5 begins with Athena bathing in a spring on Mount Helicon at midday with one of her favorite companions, the nymph Chariclo. Chariclo's son Tiresias happened to be hunting on the same mountain and came to the spring searching for water. He inadvertently saw Athena naked, so she struck him blind to ensure he would never again see what man was not intended to see. Chariclo intervened on her son's behalf and begged Athena to have mercy. Athena replied that she could not restore Tiresias's eyesight, so, instead, she gave him the ability to understand the language of the birds and thus foretell the future.
Myrmex was a clever and chaste Attic girl who became quickly a favourite of Athena. However when Athena invented the plough, Myrmex went to the Atticans and told them that it was in fact her own invention. Hurt by the girl's betrayal, Athena transformed her into the small insect bearing her name, the ant.
The fable of Arachne appears in Ovid's Metamorphoses (8 AD) (vi.5–54 and 129–145), which is nearly the only extant source for the legend. The story does not appear to have been well known prior to Ovid's rendition of it and the only earlier reference to it is a brief allusion in Virgil's Georgics, (29 BC) (iv, 246) that does not mention Arachne by name. According to Ovid, Arachne (whose name means spider in ancient Greek) was the daughter of a famous dyer in Tyrian purple in Hypaipa of Lydia, and a weaving student of Athena. She became so conceited of her skill as a weaver that she began claiming that her skill was greater than that of Athena herself. Athena gave Arachne a chance to redeem herself by assuming the form of an old woman and warning Arachne not to offend the deities. Arachne scoffed and wished for a weaving contest, so she could prove her skill.
Athena wove the scene of her victory over
In a rarer version, surviving in the scholia of an unnamed scholiast on Nicander, whose works heavily influenced Ovid, Arachne is placed in Attica instead and has a brother named Phalanx. Athena taught Arachne the art of weaving and Phalanx the art of war, but when brother and sister laid together in bed, Athena was so disgusted with them that she turned them both into spiders, animals forever doomed to be eaten by their own young.
The myth of the Judgement of Paris is mentioned briefly in the Iliad, but is described in depth in an epitome of the Cypria, a lost poem of the Epic Cycle, which records that all the gods and goddesses as well as various mortals were invited to the marriage of Peleus and Thetis (the eventual parents of Achilles). Only Eris, goddess of discord, was not invited. She was annoyed at this, so she arrived with a golden apple inscribed with the word καλλίστῃ (kallistēi, "for the fairest"), which she threw among the goddesses. Aphrodite, Hera, and Athena all claimed to be the fairest, and thus the rightful owner of the apple.
The goddesses chose to place the matter before Zeus, who, not wanting to favor one of the goddesses, put the choice into the hands of Paris, a Trojan prince. After bathing in the spring of Mount Ida where Troy was situated, the goddesses appeared before Paris for his decision. In the extant ancient depictions of the Judgement of Paris, Aphrodite is only occasionally represented nude, and Athena and Hera are always fully clothed. Since the Renaissance, however, Western paintings have typically portrayed all three goddesses as completely naked.
All three goddesses were ideally beautiful and Paris could not decide between them, so they resorted to bribes. Hera tried to bribe Paris with power over all Asia and Europe, and Athena offered fame and glory in battle, but Aphrodite promised Paris that, if he were to choose her as the fairest, she would let him marry the most beautiful woman on earth. This woman was Helen, who was already married to King Menelaus of Sparta. Paris selected Aphrodite and awarded her the apple. The other two goddesses were enraged and, as a direct result, sided with the Greeks in the Trojan War.
In Books V–VI of the Iliad, Athena aids the hero Diomedes, who, in the absence of Achilles, proves himself to be the most effective Greek warrior. Several artistic representations from the early sixth century BC may show Athena and Diomedes, including an early sixth-century BC shield band depicting Athena and an unidentified warrior riding on a chariot, a vase painting of a warrior with his charioteer facing Athena, and an inscribed clay plaque showing Diomedes and Athena riding in a chariot. Numerous passages in the Iliad also mention Athena having previously served as the patron of Diomedes's father Tydeus. When the Trojan women go to the temple of Athena on the Acropolis to plead her for protection from Diomedes, Athena ignores them.
Athena also gets into a duel with Ares, the god of the brutal wars, and her male counterpart  Ares blames her for encouraging Diomedes to tear his beautiful flesh. He curses her and strikes with all his strength. Athena deflects his blow with her aegis, a powerful shield that even Zeus's thunderbolt and lightning cannot blast through. Athena picked up a massive boulder and threw it at Ares, who immediately crumpled to the ground. Aphrodite, who was a lover of Ares, came down from Olympus to carry Ares away but was struck by Athena's golden spear and fell. Athena taunted the gods who supported Troy, saying that they will too eventually end up like Ares and Aphrodite, which scared them, therefore proving her power and reputation among the other gods.
In Book XXII of the Iliad, while Achilles is chasing Hector around the walls of Troy, Athena appears to Hector disguised as his brother Deiphobus and persuades him to hold his ground so that they can fight Achilles together. Then, Hector throws his spear at Achilles and misses, expecting Deiphobus to hand him another, but Athena disappears instead, leaving Hector to face Achilles alone without his spear. In Sophocles's tragedy Ajax, she punishes Odysseus's rival Ajax the Great, driving him insane and causing him to massacre the Achaeans' cattle, thinking that he is slaughtering the Achaeans themselves. Even after Odysseus himself expresses pity for Ajax, Athena declares, "To laugh at your enemies - what sweeter laughter can there be than that?" (lines 78–9). Ajax later commits suicide as a result of his humiliation.
Athena appears frequently in classical Greek art, including on coins and in paintings on ceramics.
Attic black-figure exaleiptron of the birth of Athena from the head of Zeus (c. 570–560 BC) by the C Painter
Attic red-figure kylix of Athena Promachos holding a spear and standing beside a Doric column (c. 500-490 BC)
Restoration of the polychrome decoration of the Athena statue from the Aphaea temple at Aegina, c. 490 BC (from the exposition "Bunte Götter" by the Munich Glyptothek)
The Mourning Athena relief (c. 470-460 BC)
Relief of Athena and Nike slaying the Giant Alkyoneus (?) from the Gigantomachy Frieze on the Pergamon Altar (early second century BC)
Classical mosaic from a villa atMuseo Pio-Clementino, Vatican
Athena portrait by Eukleidas on a tetradrachm from Syracuse, Sicily c. 400 BC
Mythological scene with Athena (left) andHerakles (right), on a stone palette of the Greco-Buddhist art of Gandhara, India
Atena farnese, Roman copy of a Greek original from Phidias' circle, c. 430 AD, Museo Archeologico, Naples
Athena (2nd century BC) in the art of Gandhara, displayed at the Lahore Museum, Pakistan
Art and symbolism
Early Christian writers, such as
During the Renaissance, Athena donned the mantle of patron of the arts and human endeavor; allegorical paintings involving Athena were a favorite of the Italian Renaissance painters. In Sandro Botticelli's painting Pallas and the Centaur, probably painted sometime in the 1480s, Athena is the personification of chastity, who is shown grasping the forelock of a centaur, who represents lust. Andrea Mantegna's 1502 painting Minerva Expelling the Vices from the Garden of Virtue uses Athena as the personification of Graeco-Roman learning chasing the vices of medievalism from the garden of modern scholarship. Athena is also used as the personification of wisdom in Bartholomeus Spranger's 1591 painting The Triumph of Wisdom or Minerva Victorious over Ignorance.
During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Athena was used as a symbol for female rulers.
A statue of Athena stands directly in front of the
Pallas and the Centaur (c. 1482) by Sandro Botticelli
Athena Scorning the Advances of Hephaestus (c. 1555–1560) by Paris Bordone
Minerva Victorious over Ignorance (c. 1591) by Bartholomeus Spranger
Maria de Medici (1622) by Peter Paul Rubens, showing her as the incarnation of Athena
Minerva Protecting Peace from Mars (1629) by Peter Paul Rubens
Pallas Athena (c. 1655) by Rembrandt
Minerva Revealing Ithaca to Ulysses (fifteenth century) by Giuseppe Bottani
Minerva and the Triumph of Jupiter (1706) by René-Antoine Houasse
The Combat of Mars and Minerva (1771) by Joseph-Benoît Suvée
Minerva Fighting Mars (1771) by Jacques-Louis David
Minerva of Peace mosaic in the Library of Congress
Athena on the Great Seal of California
Athena is a natural patron of universities: At Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania, a statue of Athena (a replica of the original bronze one in the arts and archaeology library) resides in the Great Hall. It is traditional at exam time for students to leave offerings to the goddess with a note asking for good luck, or to repent for accidentally breaking any of the college's numerous other traditions. Pallas Athena is the tutelary goddess of the international social fraternity Phi Delta Theta. Her owl is also a symbol of the fraternity.
|Athena's family tree|
- Athenaeum (disambiguation)
- Ambulia, a Spartan epithet used for Athena, Zeus, and Castor and Pollux
- ^ In other traditions, Athena's father is sometimes listed as Zeus by himself or Pallas, Brontes, or Itonos.
- Epic: Ἀθηναίη, Athēnaíē; Doric: Ἀθάνα, Athā́nā
- ^ /əˈθiːniː/; Ionic: Ἀθήνη, Athḗnē
- ^ /ˈpæləs/; Παλλάς Pallás
- ^ "The citizens have a deity for their foundress; she is called in the Egyptian tongue Neith and is asserted by them to be the same whom the Hellenes call Athena; they are great lovers of the Athenians, and say that they are in some way related to them." (Timaeus 21e.)
- Eumenides, v. 292 f. Cf. the tradition that she was the daughter of Neilos: see, e. g. Clement of Alexandria Protr. 2.28.2; Cicero, De Natura Deorum3.59.
- Peloponnesians, and afforded peculiar safety to its suppliants" (Pausanias, Description of Greece iii.5.6)
- ^ Jane Ellen Harrison's famous characterization of this myth-element as, "a desperate theological expedient to rid an earth-born Kore of her matriarchal conditions" (Harrison 1922:302) has never been refuted nor confirmed.
- ^ The owl's role as a symbol of wisdom originates in this association with Athena.
- ^ According to Homer, Iliad 1.570–579, 14.338, Odyssey 8.312, Hephaestus was apparently the son of Hera and Zeus, see Gantz, p. 74.
- ^ According to Hesiod, Theogony 927–929, Hephaestus was produced by Hera alone, with no father, see Gantz, p. 74.
- ^ According to Hesiod, Theogony 183–200, Aphrodite was born from Uranus' severed genitals, see Gantz, pp. 99–100.
- ^ According to Homer, Aphrodite was the daughter of Zeus (Iliad 3.374, 20.105; Odyssey 8.308, 320) and Dione (Iliad 5.370–71), see Gantz, pp. 99–100.
- ^ ISBN 9780877790426.)
|last1=has generic name (help
- ^ Kerényi 1951, pp. 121–122.
- ^ L. Day 1999, p. 39.
- ^ a b Deacy & Villing 2001.
- ^ a b c d e f g h Burkert 1985, p. 139.
- ^ a b c d e f Ruck & Staples 1994, p. 24.
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