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The ancient Greek Goddess Athena:

In ancient Greece Athena was the Goddess of wisdom and war.  However, Athena was said to be very wise and would only go to combat for the defense of those who she protected. The ancient Greeks also worshiped her as the goddess of Arts and crafts. She was also the guardian of "womanly arts," arts that  included cooking, weaving, and spinning, and is credited as the first to  teach the science of numbers. Athena had a particular skill as a master weaver, from this we get the story of the contest between Athena and her disrespectful student, see Athena and Arachne.  

According to a legend Zeus had a horrible headache and called on Hermes to go and get the God Hephaestus.  Upon arriving Hephaestus breached Zeus's skull allowing Athena to spring forward from the forehead of Zeus. Appearing from Zeus's skull Athena was said to be fully grown and clothed in armor. Athena was  Zeus's favorite child and  was the only other god that he trusted to carry his thunderbolts.

The goddess Athena never married and was a virgin the Greeks referred to her as Palas Athena (Maiden).  Of all of the temple's build for the goddess Athena the most famous by far is the Parthenon on the Acropolis of Athens designed by the master sculptor Phidias

Athena is given credit for taming horses for mankind and as a master inventor,  with a few of her inventions being the bridle, the chariot, the plow, the flute, and the trumpet. 

Athena had a particular weakness for humanity and often guarded those whom she loved.  She assisted many ancient Greek heroes including the likes of Hercules, Perseus, and Odysseus. Athena is said to have been present during the Trojan war and is said to have given the idea of the Trojan horse to Odysseus during one of his dreams.  Throughout the "The Odyssey" she can be seen helping Odysseus during his ten year quest to return to his home of Ithaca.

Athena is most known as the patron goddess of the city of Athens that bears her name.  A myth speaks about how Athena became patron goddess of the city after a competition with the god Poseidon.  The citizens of Athens not being able to decide between  Poseidon or Athena as their patron god asked them to settle their decision through a competition.  In the competition Athena gave the citizens an olive tree, Poseidon gave them salt water.  The citizens decided the goddess Athena's gift was far more useful and made her patron of their city, see The Naming of Athens

Athena is often referred as Grey-eyed and her symbol is the owl.  The city of Athens coinage depicted the goddess by the symbol of an owl on one side of its' coins.   Athena is often depicted wearing a helmet, and holding her magic shield the Aegis which bears the head of Medusa the Gorgon.  

 

Directly Related:

The Naming of Athens Read about the contest of two gods of Olympus for the naming of the city of Athens.
Athena and Arachne Our favorite! How the spider was created out of a disrespectful pupil!

 

Other Greek Gods:

 
  • The God Pan Learn about the famous Greek God Pan who was the god of woods and of pastures. 
  • The God Poseidon Learn about the famous Greek God Poseidon god of the sea, and the second to Zeus.
  • Persephone Learn about the ancient Greek Goddess Persephone, and how the ancient Greeks believed that the seasons of the year were directly related to her! 
  • The God Helios Learn about the ancient Greek God Helios who was the first Greek sun god, and preceded Apollo.   
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