As the wind runs past the olive trees , the leaves dance, showing the wise eyes of Athena. Theis particular goddess is rather unique, not just because of what her title is, but because of all of the stories that circulate around her. For example, what happens when Poseidon and Athena meet, or why she never chose to marry or have kids. There were so many stories that she took part in, and there is so much that she has contributed.
Athena isn’t like any other goddess or god. She was not just like others, she was also created differently; she was born from Zeus’s head. The story goes that Zeus was going to have a child with Metis, a nymph or titan, who was the goddess of crafty thought and wisdom; some sources said that she was a titan, but others said she was a nymph. The Fates foretold that if Zeus had a son with her, their son would be stronger then Zeus. Fearing this, Zeus swallowed Metis with their unborn child. But Zeus not knowing, Metis had already begun to work on the armor of their child. The time ranged for when the headaches of Zeus started, it ranged from a few weeks to many years later. But either way, he had the enormous headaches which he could not bear, so he had a son, Hephaestus, split his skull down the middle. As Hephaestus did so, Athena jumped out of Zeus’s head, fully grown and fully dressed in armor, including a spear; because of this, Athena is Zeus’s favorite child. Since Zeus adored Athena so much, she is the only child of his that knows where his lightning bolts are hidden, and can use his shield. Athena is the goddess of crafty thought and wisdom because she received it from her mother. She is also the goddess of weaving and war. Though her part in war is much different from Ares. Ares is about the fighting; Athena on the other hand, is the strategist. Her animal is the owl because it is the sign of wisdom. Athena is often depicted in a Greek outfit, a helmet pushed back to show her face, and an aegis with Medusa’s head on it, and a spear; occasionally with an owl. It is said that she is very pretty, with blonde hair, and startling, stormy grey eyes.

Not everyone gets along with family. Athena has fights and competitions with her uncle, Poseidon. There is one famous story about how Athens came to be. Someone had to patron called the now Athens, and Poseidon and Athena were particularly interested in doing so. They had a competition to see who would get the city with the people as the judges. Poseidon struck some rocks, and outpoured a saltwater spring. But the
athena.jpg
One of Athena's Temples in Athens
water that came from it was much too salty to drink. Next up was Athena; she pierced the ground, knelt down, and planted an olive tree that grew in front of the eyes of the city, it would provide shade, food, oil, and could be used for agriculture. So the people chose Athena as the patron and named their city “Athens”. Poseidon was very displeased about this, so he cursed the city with droughts; even today, Athens is still under the curse of the sea god. It is known that the god of the sea and the goddess of wisdom never got along well, but there are several instances that they put their differences aside. Athena created the chariot, but what could pull it? Poseidon is the father of horses, and they worked together to make the first chariot. Another instance is when Athena created the ship, but it had to cross Poseidon’s territory.

Athena is the goddess of wisdom, war, weaving, and craft. She helped devise war plans, and is world-known for her weaving skills, and for her wisdom. She taught Daedalus about crafting. She taught him everything he knew about building and constructing and inventing. She sided with Greece in the war against Troy, and told them how to beat the Trojans, hence the giant horse used to win the war, which was Athena’s idea. There is also a story about her weaving. There was a maiden named Arachne who bragged about her weaving skills. People complemented her, telling her about how Athena has given her a gift. She replied to these compliments by saying things about how Athena has taught her nothing, and she taught herself. The news of this reached Athena’s ears, and she morphed into an old woman to warn Arachne to not say things like that. After she warned Arachne, she replied to the old woman (Athena) that she would challenge the goddess. Athena transformed back to herself, in front of the maiden and accepted her challenge. Athena weaved a picture of her contest with Poseidon, or of the gods. Arachne, on the other hand, weaved about Zeus being adulterous, or the mistakes and fears of the gods. Both weavings were flawless, even Envy (Goddess of jealously) whispered to Athena that the weaving was flawless. But Athena was outrages with the picture Arachne made. One story was that she ripped it up, and turned Arachne into a spider to weave forever, and have her works forever destroyed by man. The other ending was that Athena yelled at the maiden, and she felt too guilty that she hung herself, and that when Athena found this out, she found the dead body and turned it in to a spider so she may continue weaving forever.
Who needs to be married or have kids? Athena is one of the three virgin goddesses; a virgin goddess is a goddess that is able to stay independent on not get pulled into marriage and motherhood by Aphrodite. The other two virgin goddesses are Hestia, goddess of home and hearth, and Artemis, goddess of the hunt and young women. (http://web.grinnell.edu/courses/cls/s05/cls242-01/virgins.html)For Athena, she believed that the head is the most prestigious part of the body, and is the highest. The sexual organs being the lowest part of the body. Another source said that it was because she didn’t want her decisions be swayed or affected by love or family. Even though she was a virgin goddess, this didn’t stop other gods and men from staying away from her. Also, she had a son, but like her, had an unnatural birth. During the Trojan War, Athena went to Hephaestus asking if he could make some weapons for her. He said that he would help if she gave him love; Athena interpreted it as in a sibling type of way, Hephaestus actually meant as a lover. So when Athena returned to his workshop to pick up her order, Hephaestus attacked her, and he ejaculated on her leg. Disgusted, she got a piece of wool to wipe it off, and threw it to Gaia (the earth) where a child formed. Gaia didn’t want the boy because of how he was created, but Athena took care of him. She named him Erichthonius which means earth-born. She then put the boy in a box and gave to the daughters of Cecrops (the king at the time) and told them to not open it. Two of the three girls didn’t listen and opened it, revealing the half boy, half snake inside; other sources said that it was a snake wrapped around an infant. Either way, the two girls who opened the box fled away, and killed themselves. Erichthonius grew up and became the king of Athens; certain sources said that he established a solemn cult for Athena (http://www.goddess-athena.org/Encyclopedia/Athena/Chastity.htm). But it wasn’t Hephaestus’s entire fault because Poseidon told him that Athena liked to have violent love. The goddess is very protective of herself and sexual advances or anything pertaining to it. In one instance, she was bathing with a wood nymph, and a man with the name of Teiresias stumbled upon the bathing nymph and goddess. Athena punished him; she took away his sight, but because of her kindness, she gave him the gift to see the future.
Although Athena is the goddess of wisdom, war, weaving, she is also a mentor to some of Greek’s greatest heroes and people. An example is Perseus; he was fighting Medusa, but was told that if he looked at her, he would turn to stone. So Athena went to him and told him how he could defeat Medusa. She told him to turn away from her, and use his shield to see her. So he went to fight with Medusa with a shield and winged sandals from his father, Hermes. Perseus defeated the Gorgon by beheading her. He gave the severed head to Athena as a present. Medusa’s head is depicted on Athena’s shield; it petrifies whoever looks at it. (http://www.buzzle.com/articles/greek-goddess-athena-wisdom-war.html)Another person Athena mentored was Daedalus. She taught him a lot about creating and fixing and inventing. Though, she did have to punish him for killing his nephew, Perdix. Daedalus was so envious of Perdix’s because he could surpass him, that he pushed him of a building. Athena, witnessing this, turned Perdix into a partridge. She also helped/mentored Odysseus. She helped the Greek defeat the troy, by telling them to build the giant horse that would lead to Troy’s downfall. And she also helped him on his way back to Ithaca. A famous legend happened before Perseus defeated Medusa. Medusa was a young beautiful girl, people we envious of her hair and complexion. She and Poseidon had an affair, and they decided to make love in one of Athena’s temples. Athena saw this and was outraged. She turned Medusa into a gorgon, turning her complexion scaly and her hair into snakes. Another popular legend is the Judgment of Paris. A goddess wasn’t invited, and so she threw an apple into the party that said “To the Fairest.” It was narrowed down to Aphrodite, Hera, and Athena. Paris chose Aphrodite because she offered him the most beautiful girl in the world. A less known myth has to do with Bellerophon. He prayed and slept in Athena’s temple, and when he awoke to find that his dream had came true. Athena he went to him and but a golden brindle in his had to tame the Pegasus. (http://ancienthistory.about.com/library/weekly/aa030299.htm)
Being a god or goddess doesn’t make you important; it’s what you did and how you’ll be remembered. From birth, Athena had an interesting beginning, never having a childhood. And as she grew older, she challenged where it wasn’t her place. Even back in the time where women had less power than men, she challenged the powerful sea god, and won. Mentoring and passing wisdom on to those who needed it; something many people in the recorded history did and got remembered for. Being so wise, she chose to never have a lover or child, never to have her thoughts clouded, or her decisions swayed. This particular goddess is the reason we have so many inventions, she was the influence for some events.


http://ancienthistory.about.com/library/weekly/aa030299.htm
http://www.buzzle.com/articles/greek-goddess-athena-wisdom-war.html
//http://web.grinnell.edu/courses/cls/s05/cls242-01/virgins.html. December 8//, 2008.
http://www.goddess-athena.org/Encyclopedia/Athena/Chastity.htm
//http://www.goddess-athena.org/Encyclopedia/Athena/index.htm//. December 8, 2009.

//http://search.ebscohost.com///