Athena Goddess

Facts about Athena Goddess

We found 16 facts about Athena Goddess

Ancient Greek deity

She was one of the twelve most prominent gods and the fourth generation of immortal entities in Greek Mythology, a daughter of Zeus, king of the gods. She was probably a pre-Hellenic goddess, and was later accepted into the religious pantheon by the Greeks.

Although she is now mainly associated with Athens, her worship extended throughout ancient Greece. One of the key sites of her worship was the Temple of Athena Nike located on the Acropolis of Athens.

She was referred to by various nicknames: Ergane, Nike, Pallas, Parthenos, Polias and Promachos.

Although the worship of Athena disappeared around the fifth century AD, some people still worship her and pay homage to her on the Acropolis.

Athena Goddess
Athena was an ancient Greek goddess, patron of wisdom, warfare and art.
She was also a patroness of many Greek cities, including Athens and Sparta.
Athena’s counterpart in ancient Rome was Minerva.
Together with Jupiter and Juno, she was part of the Capitoline Triad - a group of three deities who were worshipped in the Rome’s Capitoline Hill temple.
There are several versions of Athena’s birth story.
According to one legend, she had no mother and emerged mature out of Zeus’ head. Alternate story tells that her mother, Metis, was swallowed by Zeus during pregnancy. Later on, she emerged from Zeus’ forehead.
Ancient Greeks considered her a favorite child of Zeus.
She came to life with complete warrior armor. Her father reckoned with her opinion and secured her a prominent place in the council of the gods.
She belonged to the twelve gods of Olympus.
Those were Athena, Aphrodite, Artemis, Apollo, Ares, Demeter, Hephaestus, Hera, Hermes, Poseidon, Zeus and Hestia or Dionysus. Those were the major deities of ancient Greece, according to legends they lived on Mount Olympus.
Athena wore bright armor.
She wielded a golden spear, as well as an aegis (shield made of goatskin), depicting the head of Medusa. Sometimes she used her father’s thunderbolt. However, she used her weaponry only for a just cause.
Athena was usually depicted wearing a toga, a helmet, and holding a spear.
She was characterized by great height, great strength, but also indomitable fortitude.
According to mythology, Athena was the creator of many inventions to improve agricultural work.

Thanks to Athena, the agriculture of the ancient Greeks was supposed to be more efficient.

She is also said to have taught people how to breed horses.

She was believed to invent the flute.

Athena, however, did not like her invention. She threw it away and cursed it as she found it deforming her cheeks.

The instrument was found by the satyr Marsyas, who mastered the art of playing it. His talent in playing the flute was so great that he challenged Apollo to a musical duel. The duel, however, did not end well for the Marsyas. He was hanged from a tree with his head down and skinned alive. Later, Apollo passed the flute into the hands of Dionysus.

The plant dedicated to Athena was the olive tree.
Myth has it that she was the founder of Athens and created the first olive tree on its grounds.
Of all the Greek polis, she had the greatest affection for Athens.

She confronted Poseidon for sovereignty over the Attic peninsula. While Poseidon offered the Athenians a source of salt water (according to another version, a steed), Athena created the olive tree, unknown there, and taught the first king Cecrops I how to care for the trees and press oil.

Her gift appealed to the Athenians more than what the sea god offered.

She was the patroness of marriage and domesticity, but married no one herself.
She was not interested in relationships or love. Athena was a virgin, which is why she was also considered the patron saint of chastity.
She has helped the heroes many times.

Among others, she helped Perseus kill Medusa and Heracles during his work, when she helped him kill the Stymphalian birds.

She also accompanied Heracles during his battle with the Nemean lion, but did not take an active part in the event.

One myth says, thanks to Athena, the city of Thebes was founded.

Cadmus, son of Agenor, defeated the dragon guarding the spring. After the battle, Athena instructed him to sow the dragon’s teeth, from which the giants grew.

After fighting with each other, five of them survived, and they helped Cadmus with the founding of the city.

Athena’s bird was the owl, a symbol of knowledge and wisdom.
The depiction of Athena with an owl most likely originates from the Minoan culture of the Bronze Age period. The owl was often depicted on Athenian coins.
Since the Renaissance, she became a symbol of arts, wisdom and classical learning.
Athena was also used as a symbol of democracy and freedom.
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