Born from Zeus's head, she was his favorite daughter and possessed great wisdom, bravery, and resourcefulness. Herodotus thought he had identified the source of the aegis in ancient Libya, which was always a distant territory of ancient magic for the Greeks. Perseus made his name by killing Medusa, a monster whose gaze turned . For other uses, see, Goddess of wisdom, warfare, and handicraft, Cult statue of Athena with the face of the Carpegna type (late 1st century BC to early 1st century AD), from the Piazza dell'Emporio, Rome, Bust of the Velletri Pallas type, copy after a votive statue of Kresilas in Athens (, In other traditions, Athena's father is sometimes listed as Zeus by himself or, "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." She was thought to have had neither consort nor offspring. The owl is one of the most recognizable of these, and is still associated with wisdom and education today. [67] Other epithets include Ageleia, Itonia and Aethyia, under which she was worshiped in Megara. Most of these in their explanations of the poet, assert that he meant by Athena "mind" [, nos] and "intelligence" [, dinoia], 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" [ , theo nsis], as though he would say: This is she who has the mind of God [ , a theona]. Athenas moral and military superiority to Ares derives in part from the fact that she represents the intellectual and civilized side of war and the virtues of justice and skill, whereas Ares represents mere blood lust. [30][31], Plato notes that the citizens of Sais in Egypt worshipped a goddess known as Neith,[e] whom he identifies with Athena. READ NEXT: (, "This sanctuary had been respected from early days by all the. The epithet Polias ( "of the city"), refers to Athena's role as protectress of the city. The aegis is a shield carried primarily by Zeus in Greek mythology, which he sometimes lent to Athena. [231], Pallas and the Centaur (c. 1482) by Sandro Botticelli, Minerva Expelling the Vices from the Garden of Virtue (1502) by Andrea Mantegna[222][221][223], Athena Scorning the Advances of Hephaestus (c. 15551560) 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[226], Minerva Protecting Peace from Mars (1629) by Peter Paul Rubens, Minerva Revealing Ithaca to Ulysses (fifteenth century) by Giuseppe Bottani, Minerva and the Triumph of Jupiter (1706) by Ren-Antoine Houasse, The Combat of Mars and Minerva (1771) by Joseph-Benot Suve, Minerva Fighting Mars (1771) by Jacques-Louis David, Minerva of Peace mosaic in the Library of Congress, One of Sigmund Freud's most treasured possessions was a small, bronze sculpture of Athena, which sat on his desk. [133][51][134] Athena adopted Erichthonius as her son and raised him. Athena appears in Homers Odyssey as the tutelary deity of Odysseus, and myths from later sources portray her similarly as helper of Perseus and Heracles (Hercules). [191][190][192], 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, the patron goddess of the city of Athens, is associated with over a dozen sacred symbols from which she derived her powers. [20] Best translates the initial a-ta-n-t, which is recurrent in line beginnings, as "I have given". [128], Afterwards, Poseidon was so angry over his defeat that he sent one of his sons, Halirrhothius, to cut down the tree. [128] In an alternative version of the myth from Vergil's Georgics,[113] Poseidon instead gave the Athenians the first horse. "goatskin coat", from treating the word as meaning "something grammatically feminine pertaining to, This page was last edited on 12 February 2023, at 07:42. "[233] In contemporary Wicca, Athena is venerated as an aspect of the Goddess[234] and some Wiccans believe that she may bestow the "Owl Gift" ("the ability to write and communicate clearly") upon her worshippers. Marinus of Neapolis reports that when Christians removed the statue of the goddess from the Parthenon, a beautiful woman appeared in a dream to Proclus, a devotee of Athena, and announced that the "Athenian Lady" wished to dwell with him. [117], Athena also gets into a duel with Ares, the god of the brutal wars, and her male counterpart [203] Ares blames her for encouraging Diomedes to tear his beautiful flesh. [117] 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. Athena was customarily portrayed wearing body armour and a helmet and carrying a shield and a lance. [43] During the late fifth century BC, the role of goddess of philosophy became a major aspect of Athena's cult. [222][221][223] Athena is also used as the personification of wisdom in Bartholomeus Spranger's 1591 painting The Triumph of Wisdom or Minerva Victorious over Ignorance. [191][190][192] Athena then struck Arachne across the face with her staff four times. [213], During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, Athena was used as a symbol for female rulers. In Ancient Greece, the Gorgoneion (Greek: ) was a special apotropaic amulet showing the Gorgon head, used by the Olympian deities Athena and Zeus: both are said to have worn the gorgoneion as a protective pendant, and often are depicted wearing it. Athena, the daughter of Zeus, was produced without a mother and emerged full-grown from his forehead. [172] He hears stories about some of Odysseus's journey. [9], Athena was originally the Aegean goddess of the palace, who presided over household crafts and protected the king. [105][98][101] 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. [88], 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. [47][48] Athena was especially worshipped in this role during the festivals of the Panathenaea and Pamboeotia,[49] both of which prominently featured displays of athletic and military prowess. "[110][109], Hesiod states that Hera was so annoyed at Zeus for having given birth to a child on his own that she conceived and bore Hephaestus by herself,[101] but in Imagines 2. She was widely worshipped, but in modern times she is associated primarily with Athens, to which she gave her name and protection. [41] The festival lasted for five days. [148][149] Athena gave Perseus a polished bronze shield to view Medusa's reflection rather than looking at her directly and thereby avoid being turned to stone. [205] 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. Fairbanks), the third-century AD Greek rhetorician Philostratus the Elder writes that Hera "rejoices" at Athena's birth "as though Athena were her daughter also." Athena and Heracles on an Attic red-figure kylix, 480470 BC, Athena, detail from a silver kantharos with Theseus in Crete (c. 440-435 BC), part of the Vassil Bojkov collection, Sofia, Bulgaria, Silver coin showing Athena with Scylla decorated helmet and Heracles fighting the Nemean lion (Heraclea Lucania, 390-340 BC), Paestan red-figure bell-krater (c. 330 BC), showing Orestes at Delphi flanked by Athena and Pylades among the Erinyes and priestesses of Apollo, with the Pythia sitting behind them on her tripod, The Gorgoneion appears to have originated as an apotropaic symbol intended to ward off evil. Her guiding actions reinforce her role as the "protectress of heroes," or, as mythologian Walter Friedrich Otto dubbed her, the "goddess of nearness," due to her mentoring and motherly probing. Herse, Aglaulus, and Pandrosus go to the temple to offer sacrifices to Athena. [56] Even beyond recognition, the Athenians allotted the goddess value based on this pureness of virginity, which they upheld as a rudiment of female behavior. Athena, also spelled Athene, in Greek religion, the city protectress, goddess of war, handicraft, and practical reason, identified by the Romans with Minerva. In some versions of the mythology, the owl was said to illuminate Athena's "blind side," allowing her to see the entire truth. [142], According to Pseudo-Apollodorus's Bibliotheca, Athena advised Argos, the builder of the Argo, the ship on which the hero Jason and his band of Argonauts sailed, and aided in the ship's construction. [227], A statue of Athena stands directly in front of the Austrian Parliament Building in Vienna,[228] and depictions of Athena have influenced other symbols of Western freedom, including the Statue of Liberty and Britannia. [127] They agreed that each would give the Athenians one gift[127] and that Cecrops, the king of Athens, would determine which gift was better. Aside from Athena, the Twelve Olympians include Greek gods and goddesses Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Aphrodite, Hephaestus, Hermes, and Hestia. [10][17] However, any connection to the city of Athens in the Knossos inscription is uncertain. She is the daughter of Zeus and Metis, and is said to have been born fully grown and armored from the . [6] A vestige of that appears in a portrait of Alexander the Great in a fresco from Pompeii dated to the first century BC, which shows the image of the head of a woman on his armor that resembles the Gorgon. [183][182][134], Myrmex was a clever and chaste Attic girl who became quickly a favourite of Athena. from the Gigantomachy Frieze on the Pergamon Altar (early second century BC), Classical mosaic from a villa at Tusculum, 3rd century AD, now at Museo Pio-Clementino, Vatican, Athena portrait by Eukleidas on a tetradrachm from Syracuse, Sicily c. 400 BC, Mythological scene with Athena (left) and Herakles (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, Early Christian writers, such as Clement of Alexandria and Firmicus, denigrated Athena as representative of all the things that were detestable about paganism;[215] they condemned her as "immodest and immoral". 460-357 B.C. [208], The Mourning Athena or Athena Meditating is a famous relief sculpture dating to around 470-460 BC[211][208] that has been interpreted to represent Athena Polias. She was widely worshipped, but in modern times she is associated primarily with Athens, to which she gave her name. "[84][85] In Ovid's Metamorphoses, Athena is occasionally referred to as "Tritonia". "Athena, by the time she appears in art," Jane Ellen Harrison remarks, "has completely shed her animal form, has reduced the shapes she once wore of snake and bird to attributes, but occasionally in black-figure vase-paintings she still appears with wings. [216] Some even viewed the Virgin Mary as a warrior maiden, much like Athena Parthenos;[216] one anecdote tells that the Virgin Mary once appeared upon the walls of Constantinople when it was under siege by the Avars, clutching a spear and urging the people to fight. Below are all possible answers to this clue ordered by its rank. In Rome she was called Minerva, and her popularity continued. [94][95][96] 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"). Athena's origin story in Greek mythology is one of particular interest. [130] Another version of the myth of the Athenian maidens is told in Metamorphoses by the Roman poet Ovid (43 BC17 AD); in this late variant Hermes falls in love with Herse. [156] She is presented as his "stern ally",[157] but also the "gentle acknowledger of his achievements. Athena (Ancient Greek: ) (sometimes she is called Pallas Athena) was the goddess of wisdom, mathematics, civilization, the arts, reason, skill, and war. [114] Fragments attributed by the Christian Eusebius of Caesarea to the semi-legendary Phoenician historian Sanchuniathon, which Eusebius thought had been written before the Trojan war, make Athena instead the daughter of Cronus, a king of Byblos who visited "the inhabitable world" and bequeathed Attica to Athena. The temple of Athena Alea in Tegea was an important religious center of ancient Greece. [133] Zeus agreed to this and Hephaestus and Athena were married,[133] but, when Hephaestus was about to consummate the union, Athena vanished from the bridal bed, causing him to ejaculate on the floor, thus impregnating Gaia with Erichthonius. [97][98] The best known image of Athena's owl, the Little Owl, is seen on ancient Athenian coins dating from the fifth century BCE. [130] Many of the surviving sculptures of Athena show this serpent. In Homers Iliad, Athena, as a war goddess, inspires and fights alongside the Greek heroes; her aid is synonymous with military prowess. Two Athenians, the sculptor Phidias and the playwright Aeschylus, contributed significantly to the cultural dissemination of Athenas image. [115][116], Athena's epithet Pallas is derived either from , meaning "to brandish [as a weapon]", or, more likely, from and related words, meaning "youth, young woman". Hermes gives her the money the sisters have already offered to Athena. [197] Aphrodite, Hera, and Athena all claimed to be the fairest, and thus the rightful owner of the apple. [32] Neith was the ancient Egyptian goddess of war and hunting, who was also associated with weaving; her worship began during the Egyptian Pre-Dynastic period. [195] Only Eris, goddess of discord, was not invited. The crossword clue Protection, or Athena's shield. [210] She is most often represented dressed in armor like a male soldier[209][210][7] and wearing a Corinthian helmet raised high atop her forehead. Her Roman name is Minerva. The Gorgon's face is not limited to divine armor, however, but also decorated the martial accoutrements of Greek soldiers, such as helmets, shields, and greaves (41.162.74 . [42] Here Athena's statue was undressed, her clothes washed, and body purified. [197][134], 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. [191][190][192] Finally, losing her temper, Athena destroyed Arachne's tapestry and loom, striking it with her shuttle. [83] Kernyi 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. [43][40] She was also the patron of metalworkers and was believed to aid in the forging of armor and weapons. The most renowned sculpture of Athena, the gold and ivory Athena Parthenos that once stood in the Parthenon, included two gorgoneia: one on her aegis and one on her shield. [213], Attic black-figure exaleiptron of the birth of Athena from the head of Zeus (c. 570560 BC) by the C Painter[208], 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 Gtter" by the Munich Glyptothek), The Mourning Athena relief (c. 470-460 BC)[211][208], Attic red-figure kylix showing Athena slaying the Giant Enceladus (c. 550500 BC), Relief of Athena and Nike slaying the Giant Alkyoneus (?)
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