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The Naming of Athens

The citizens of the city now known as Athens spoke highly of their city, as did all ancient Greeks of their own city.  Yet when the gods looked down on all of Greece no city could equal that of the city we now call Athens.  All the gods knew that whoever would be the patron god of this city would be highly venerated in a city that would become like no other.   When the citizens of Athens prayed for a god to become their protector  the gods of Olympus heard and two of them rushed each hoping to become the patron god of the city.   

Athena and Poseidon appeared before the citizens of the city, and spoke to its' people, each hoping that their words would sway them and make them be chosen as the sole guardian of the city.  Poseidon argued that he was the elder of the two, the God of the sea which the inhabitants of the seafaring city depended on, with his protection they would become masters of the sea.  Athena then argued against Poseidon saying that what she could teach them was far more important then what Poseidon could, for Poseidon she said may have been greater then her in age but not necessarily in wisdom.

Half the citizens wanted Poseidon to be their god, for they were a seafaring people.  The other half wished the protection of the goddess of wisdom and war.  What better god argued the citizens who supported Athena to have as a patron then the one that represents wisdom?  The leaders of the city decided that the only way to settle the issue was a competition between the two gods.  The god who would give the greatest gift to the citizens of the city would become its' protector.   The citizens of  the city would make the final decision on who would be their patron god.

Athena and Poseidon agreed to this competition offered by  the citizens.  Poseidon as the elder went first and rising his trident he struck the ground bringing forth water.  The citizens of Athens were amazed, what is more glorious then the sea?  They all asked.  They all went to drink from the water that sprang forth but then noticed it was salty.  The citizens began to look at one and other, what benefit was it to them water that they could not even drink?  What type of gift was this?

Athena then touched ground and from the ground sprouted a beautiful fully grown olive tree.  Athena then spoke with wisdom and told them, "With my gift you will never grow hungry, nor will you every grow cold.  For it will give you olives to eat, oil to cook with, and the fire wood to warm your homes."

The citizens of Athens gazed at the undrinkable water and the olive tree.  All agreed that Athena's gift was the gift that they would keep.  In her honor they named her patron goddess of  the city, a city  that would now be called Athens after her.  Athena would now be the protector of  the city of Athens, and with her protection her city would become the glory of the ancient world.


Other Greek Myths:

  Creation Myths:


  Other Myths:

  • Echo and Narcissus The story of the Nymph Echo, and unreturned love.
  • King Midas and the Golden Touch King Midas and how all the riches of the world could not satisfy him, until his greediness became his curse.
  • Oedipus and the Sphinx Oedipus defeats the riddle of the Sphinx yet in the end meets a tragic fate!
  • Persephone The beautiful daughter of Demeter, and how she became queen of the underworld.
  • Medusa the Gorgon Who was Medusa and her Gorgon sisters? Why were they so hideous? This is their story.
  • Pandora This is the little girl that the ancient Greeks believed released the plagues on our world.  How did she do it, and why?
  • Athena and Arachne Our favorite! How the spider was created out of a disrespectful pupil!
  • Thesseus and the Minotaur How Thesseus became a great hero by removing the curse of the Minotaur.
  • The Flight of Icarus King Minos ruled the land and the sea how could Deadalus escape with his son?  Through the air! 
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