Gods of Olympus


In Greek mythology, Athena is the goddess of wisdom and war strategy, she is also the protector of bravery, law, justice and art. Her father is most often referred to as Zeus, and her mother is said to be the titaness Medea.

When Mede became pregnant, the oracle foretold that a wise daughter would be born to her, and if Mede had another child, it would be a son who would overthrow Zeus, just as he had overthrown his father Cronus. Fearing the fulfillment of the prophecy, Zeus swallowed Métis. However, over time he developed a severe headache, so much so that he asked Hephaestus (other sources mention Prometheus) to put a hole in his head. From this hole, Athena eventually sprang out in full armour.

Other sources consider her father to be the winged giant Pallas. But he was about to try to rape Athena, and Athena fought back and killed her father. She subsequently added his name to hers. Other sources refer to Poseidon as her father, but Athena renounced him and adopted Zeus.

Athena was so wise that she was always at the side of Zeus, who talked to her at length. Athena never married or desired any man or god, which is why she was called "Athena Parthenos " (Athena the Virgin). After she had her armor forged by Hephaestus, Hephaestus tried to rape her, but Athena broke free and so his seed impregnated mother earth. No one wanted the future child, so Athena named him Erichthonios and entrusted his upbringing to Aglaura (the eldest daughter of the Athenian king Kekropos - half man and half serpent and also the son of mother earth). Because of the very similar appearance of Kekropos and Erichthonios, it was then mistakenly assumed that Erichthonios was the son of the king. Erichthonios then became king himself and founded the cult of the goddess Athena, also holding a panathenaic festival in her honour.

Athena was very kind to the people, to whom she gave an olive, or for whom she also invented the plough, the rake, the bridle, etc. Among other things, she also taught the people goldsmithing, blacksmithing, dyeing and weaving. For her wisdom, her emblem was the owl.

A short list of Athena's major deeds:

  • she and Dio fought the Giants
  • helping the Argonauts on their quest for the Golden Fleece
  • helped Odysseus return home
  • accompanied Perseus in his fight against the Gorgons
  • She put a bridle on Bellerophont so he could tame Pegasus
  • advised Epei in the construction of the Trojan Horse
  • When Teiresias, the seer, accidentally saw her naked, she blinded him, but gave him a blind staff as a gift so that he could move around safely. She also taught him the language of birds.
  • When she competed with the proud Arachne to see who could weave better, she turned Arachne into a spider.