Athena is one of the 12 gods of the Olympus Council . The favorite daughter of Zeus She is the Greek goddess of peace, wisdom, science, justice and craftsmanship. Protector of many cities, among others of the own Athens to which it gives name, counts between the attributes that identify it with the helmet and the spear, the shield with the head of the Gorgon, the olive tree and the owls, among others. In the West, the image of Athena is used today as a symbol of democracy and freedom. Join us to know 3 myths of the goddess Athena, curious stories of the Greek goddess of Peace and Wisdom .
3 Myths of the goddess Athena
The Greek goddess Athena it was copied by the Romans and it was given the name of goddess Minerva. Wisdom, peace, arts and military strategy are the universe over which reigns. The character of Athena, as well as that of its corresponding Roman, the Goddess Minerva , combines both masculine and feminine traits. Inaccessible to love and passion, she remains a virgin of her own free will, as other goddesses do. Greek pantheon : Artemis and Hestia. It was called "Athena Partenos" which means "Athena the virgin" and from the word "partenos" derives the name by which we know the most famous temple dedicated to her: the Parthenon that we can see in the Acropolis of Athens .
There are many myths of the goddess Athena that have been explained since ancient times. We have chosen the 3 stories of this Greek goddess that we have found most interesting. We hope you like them!
Stories of the Greek goddess of Peace and Wisdom
Sometimes this Greek goddess is known as "Pallas Athena". Current historians believe that this epithet can come from "πάλλω" which means "to brandish" a weapon or from "παλλακίς" meaning "young woman". However, in Greece stories were created to explain and believed that this was because Palas was the Titan of Wisdom and in some ancient myth was considered that he could be the father of Athena, goddess of wisdom. In other myths of Athena it is explained that Palas tried to rape her, she killed him and with her skin became a breastplate.
Fragment of "The Judgment of Paris", by Hendrick van Balen (1599). Athena in the center, with the shield, spear and helmet.
However, there is a myth about his birth that is the most popular and that he shares with his Roman copy, the Goddess Minerva . The only difference is that the Greek goddess was born of Zeus and the Roman of Jupiter.
Myth of the birth of the goddess Athena
Zeus' first wife was Metis. When he lay with her, Zeus remembered that Gea and Uranus had prophesied that Metis would have sons wiser than himself and decided to swallow her and stay forever inside her. However, this action did not help. Metis had conceived and after the time of gestation, Zeus began to feel a tremendous headache. He was so strong that he asked to have his head opened.
Athena being born from the head of Zeus
Hephaestus is the one that in most versions of the myth of the birth of the goddess Athena He who takes an ax and opens the head of Zeus. From the cut comes the goddess Athena already adult and fully dressed and equipped to go to war.
Myth of the goddess Athena and Arachne
The Greek gods they are a compendium of the defects and virtues of human beings. Most are jealous, violent and vengeful and Athena, although she was the goddess of wisdom and peace, was not exempt from defects. He myth of the goddess Athena and Arachne he served the Greeks to explain the origin of the art of weaving by following the work of the spiders.
Velázquez: The fable of Arachne (1644-1648). The work is known as "The Spinners".
Arachne was a young daughter of a dyer of Colophon who had a great ability to weave and embroider. The girl, vain, boasted that her work was better than that of Athena, goddess also of craftsmanship. Athena took the form of an old woman to give him the opportunity to retract and told her that if she spoke that way she would offend the gods. Arachne not only did not rectify, but challenged her to a textile competition. The goddess accepted and wove a tapestry in which her victory over Poseidon was seen. Aracne elaborated 21 tapestries with scenes of the infidelities of the gods. The goddess Athena He recognized the perfection of his tapestries, but was angered by the subject he considered disrespectful. Angry destroyed the work of the young woman with his spear and hit her in the head. Arachne realized her mistake and hanged herself. When hung from the rope, the goddess took pity on her and turned her into a spider. From that moment, Arachne, the spider, taught how to weave humanity.
Myth of Athena and Medusa
In the third of these myths of the goddess Athena we will outline the myth of Athena and Medusa. If you want to know it in depth and know the reason behind the transformation of the gorgon you can read the post: The myth of Medusa revised. Did you know that she was raped by Poseidon?
Head of Medusa
The gorgons were three sisters. Two of them were gruesome but immortal, yet the third, Medusa, was extremely beautiful but deadly. Poseidon tried to rape her when she was in the temple of Athena and the goddess, instead of charging against the god of the sea, considered that Medusa had profaned her temple and transformed her in the image of her horrible sisters. His beautiful golden hair turned into snakes and his face became unrecognizable. Since he was not immortal, to defend himself he had the ability to petrify with his eyes. When Perseus ended with her, the goddess Athena He took his head and put it on his shield to use as protection.
Athena and Poseidon fought for the patronage of the city of Athens, which still had no name. The goddess came out victorious by planting an olive tree in front of the salt water fountain of the sea god. For that reason the city was called Athens in honor of the goddess Athena.
Did you know these myths of the goddess Athena ? Do you know any more history of this Greek goddess? Share it with us!