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Pronunciation : uth-EE-nuh

(Olympian) ATHENA

Also known as ATHENE, PALLAS ATHENA
Goddess of : Wisdom, Weaving, War, Heroic Endeavour
Attributes : Aegis, Spear and Helmet, Owl,
Festival Days : Panathenaea
When in Rome : Minerva

Greek goddess of wisdom, war and heroic endeavour.

Having been warned by Gaia and Uranus that Metis would bear a child that would trump the top god in every way Zeus proceeded to have sex with her anyway. What on earth was he thinking? Well, what he was thinking was playing Praying Mantis in reverse, and as soon as he had sown his divine oats he gobbled her up. That should kill the prophecy, right? Erm, no, actually.

Besides making Zeus a hyper hypocrite by eating his own child, albeit wrapped in Metis at the time, it didn't prevent the prophecy at all, merely postponed it temporarily. Plus he was in agony.

Old Zeus had man pregnancy and was far more pregnant than any woman had ever been (in his mind... literally!) but luckily Haphaestos turned up and noticed his dad writhing, whining and clutching his head in extreme pain. Less lucky was the fact that Hephaestos was a blacksmith and didn't exactly wield his forge tools with surgical precision. Still, it didn't stop him from having a go but only got as far as smacking Zeus in the head with a huge hammer before Athena sprung from the gash fully grown and armoured. It's no wonder Zeus had a headache!

Athena bore no grudges - despite the mother eating episode - and wasn't harmed at all by the unorthodox birth. In fact she became just as strapping as any of the male gods and certainly had more testicular fortitude.

She battled and beat Poseidon for the land rights of Athens as she managed to fight off his trident with an olive tree, which is no mean feat, but it's lucky she did otherwise Ath-ens would have been known as Poseid-ens and caused no end of confusion not to mention possible linguistic issues.

She geed up the gods after Typhon's tendon removal trick and more than held her own during the battle of the Gigantes when she smashed up Pallas and flayed him alive before chucking the whole island of Sicily at the fleeing Enceladus.

But she had no luck in love, possibly because she was more manly than most men, and remained a virgin for... well, forever. But she did bring plenty of gifts to mankind such as the flute and the plough. She also tought the agricultural arts which was handy as there's no point giving man a plough if he doesn't know what to do with it. She introduced weaving too but no-one thought to tell Arachne who was convinced she invented it herself.

Athena had a real soft spot for Greece and was extremely disappointed to see them turn the needy Cassandra away from one of her alters. But this was soon avenged when Poseidon, now on better terms with Athena, gladly sent great storms to decimate the returning Greek fleet. This all came as a bit of a shock as none of the Gods had done more to ensure the Trojans demise, but let this be a lesson to you... sanctuary should be available to all.
Family Tree ...
Parents : Zeus and Metis
Spouse : No chance!
Offspring : erm, hello! Virgin!
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'ATHENA' - Greek entry : 26 April 2007
Page last modified on 27 Mar 2013
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