Ancient Greece is believed to have been the birth place of democracy, western philosophy, mathematics, drama, and much more. Greek culture was also famous for its theological beliefs, mythology, and Olympian gods.
There are twelve main Olympian gods and goddesses that were responsible for ruling different parts of the world. Some of the most famous Greek gods include Zeus, the god of the sky, Poisedon, who ruled the sea, and Athena, the goddess of war.
In this article, we will focus on Athena. If you want to learn more about the goddess of war, including her powers and family, be sure to read on.
Who is Athena?
Athena, also known as Athene, is the ancient Greek goddess of war, wisdom, strategy, and handicraft. In Greek mythology, it is believed that she was always in the company of the goddess of victory, Nike, and her owl.
She is often portrayed wearing a breastplate called Aegis which is made out of goatskin. It is believed this breastplate was given to Athena by her father Zeus.
Athena was considered to be the patron and protector of a number of cities including Athens. In fact, it is said that she derived her name from the city of Athens.
You may have seen her in art pieces where she is portrayed holding a spear and wearing a helmet. Her main symbols are olive trees, owls, the Gorgoneion, and snakes.
She is believed to be of Aegean origin, hence the reason why she is connected to the city of Athens. Since she was the patron of weaving and craft, she was called Ergane.
Other myths believe that Athena’s parents are Metis and Zeus. In the Iliad, she plays an active role in assisting Achaeans. In the Odyssey, she is Odysseus’ divine counselor.
Stories About Athena
It is believed that Athena did not have any biological children. She, however, adopted a son called Erichthonius of Athens. Given her Aegean origin, Athena was called a palace goddess.
She was also called Poliouchos and Polias which is derived from polis to mean ‘city-state’. It is from this origin that she was considered to be the patron of Athens.
Since she is a warrior goddess, she was believed to lead soldiers into battle and was called Athena Promachos.
Her main festival was the Panathenaia, that was celebrated during Hekatombanion month. This took place in midsummer and was the main Athenian calendar festival.
In the Athens Founding myth, she overcame Poseidon in the city’s patronage competition by creating the first olive tree. She was known to be a virgin and hence was called Athena Parthenos. In one archaic Attic myth, it is said that Hephaestus tried to rape Athena but failed.
Athena’s abode was mount Olympus. She had a number of siblings including Angelos, Apollo, Enyo, Artemis, Pandia, and Aphrodite, amongst many others.
Athena is the goddess of war, wisdom, strategy, and handicraft. Her home was in Mount Olympus. Some myths say that her parents were Zeus and Metis, while others say that she came out of her father’s head.
She is believed to have been a virgin and had no biological children of her own. Her main symbols are snakes, owls, and olive trees.