Athena With Owl Medusa Shield Goddess of wisdom, handicraft, and war Alabaster Statue 6.69″
Athena With Owl Medusa Shield Greek Goddess Alabaster Statue 6.69″
Height: 6.69 inches (17 cm)
Width: 2.36 inches (6 cm)
Depth: 2.36 inches (6 cm)
Weight: 0.423 lbs (192 gr)
Athena is “born” from Zeus’s forehead as a result of him having swallowed her mother Metis, as he grasps the clothing of Eileithyia on the right; black-figured amphora, 550–525 BC, Louvre.
Although Athena appears before Zeus at Knossos—in Linear B, as a-ta-na po-ti-ni-ja, “Mistress Athena”—in the Classical Olympian pantheon, Athena was remade as the favourite daughter of Zeus, born fully armed from his forehead. The story of her birth comes in several versions. In the version recounted by Hesiod in his Theogony, Zeus lay with Metis, the goddess of crafty thought and wisdom, but he immediately feared the consequences because Gaia and Ouranos had prophesized that Metis would bear children wiser than he himself. In order to prevent this, Zeus swallowed Metis, but it was too late because Metis had already conceived.
Eventually Zeus experienced an enormous headache; Prometheus, Hephaestus, Hermes, Ares, or Palaemon (depending on the sources examined) cleaved Zeus’ head with the double-headed Minoan axe, the labrys. Athena leaped from Zeus’s head, fully grown and armed, with a shout—”and peeled to the broad sky her clarion cry of war. And Ouranos trembled to hear, and Mother Gaia…” Plato, in the Laws, attributes the cult of Athena to the culture of Crete, introduced, he thought, from Libya during the dawn of Greek culture. Classical myths thereafter note that Hera was so annoyed at Zeus for having produced a child that she conceived and bore Hephaestus by herself, but in Imagines 2. 27 (trans. Fairbanks), the third-century AD Greek rhetorician Philostratus the Elder writes that Hera “rejoices” at Athena’s birth “as though Athena were her daughter also.” In accordance with this mythological tradition, Plato, in Cratylus (407B), gives the etymology of her name as signifying “the mind of god”, theou noesis. The second-century AD Christian apologist Justin Martyr takes issue with those pagans who erect at springs images of Kore, whom he interprets as Athena:
They said that Athena was the daughter of Zeus not from intercourse, but when the god had in mind the making of a world through a word (logos) his first thought was Athena.
Athena (/əˈθiːnə/; Attic Greek: Ἀθηνᾶ, Athēnā, or Ἀθηναία, Athēnaia; Epic: Ἀθηναίη, Athēnaiē; Doric: Ἀθάνα, Athānā) or Athene (/əˈθiːniː/; Ionic: Ἀθήνη, Athēnē), often given the epithet Pallas (/ˈpæləs/; Παλλὰς), is the goddess of wisdom, craft, and war in ancient Greek religion and mythology. In later times, Athena was syncretized with the Roman goddess Minerva. Athena was portrayed as having a calm temperament, and moving slowly to anger. She was believed to only fight for just causes and never fight without a purpose.
In ancient Greek literature, Athena is portrayed as the astute companion of heroes and as the patron goddess of heroic endeavor. Athena probably takes her name from the city of Athens, of which she was the patron. The Athenians constructed the Parthenon atop their Acropolis as a temple to Athena; it takes its name from her epithet Parthenos, which means “Virgin”. Throughout the Greek world, Athena was venerated as the protectress of the city (polis); she was known as Polias and Poliouchos and her temples were usually located atop the fortified Acropolis in the central part of the city.
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