Athena Facts

Athena Facts
Athena is the ancient Greek goddess of many things including courage, wisdom, strategy, strength, inspiration, law and justice, mathematics, skill, strategic warfare, and arts and crafts. Athena's birth was one of legends. She was the daughter of Zeus, the father of goddesses and gods, and Metis - a mortal woman. Zeus, fearful of warnings by older gods that if Metis had a daughter there would be trouble, he swallowed Metis. Athena was born fully grown and wearing armour from Zeus' head after he had suffered a headache. The most famous temple existing today, built in honor of Athena, is the Parthenon in Athens, Greece.
Interesting Athena Facts:
Other names Athena was known by include Pallas Athene, Pallas Athena, Athene, Minerva, and Athena Parthenos.
Athena was rumoured to be Zeus' favourite child.
Descriptions of Athena suggest that she was tall, graceful, strong, and that she had grey eyes.
Athena had many sisters and brothers including Helen of Troy, Artemis, Aphrodite, the Graces, the Muses, Ares, Dionysus, Apollo, Hebe, Heracles, Hermes, Porus, Perseus, Minos, and Hephaestus.
Other stories suggest that Athena was born outside of Olympus and that she was raised by Triton, another god. Another story suggests that she was the daughter of Cronus, Byblos' king at the time.
Athena, as the Goddess of War, was Ares counterpart.
Homer's description of Athena showed her as a ruthless and fierce warrior. During the Trojan War she struck the ship of the leader of the Locrians - Ajax - with a lightning bolt for his horrible treatment of Athena's priestess. When this didn't kill him Poseidon caused him to drown.
Although she was a great warrior, Athena was also known for her generosity and compassion, and was also considered to be the Goddess of the City because she protected civilian life.
Athena invented the flute. She never played the flute however.
Athena's symbolic bird was the owl. Other symbols associated with Athena include gorgoneions, spears, helmets, armor, snakes, and olive trees.
Athena was Athen's guardian and the Parthenon was her temple, built in honor of her.
Athena, along with Hestia and Artemis, were virgin goddesses. She is referred to as Athena Parthenos, which means Virgin Athena.
Athena helped Perseus to kill Medusa by cutting off her head. Athena used her shield to as a mirror for Perseus while he did the deed - because looking directly at Medusa would have turned him to stone.
As the Goddess of Arts and Crafts Athena was talented at spinning and weaving.
Although Athena was a virgin she raised a child named Erichthonius. The child was born to Hephaestus and Gaia (also called Earth), and Athena chose to become its foster mother.
Athena and Poseidon did not get along. They competed for the position of guardian over a new city. Poseidon's gift was a river, but when Athena pointed out that it was salt water, the city's inhabitants were not impressed. Athena then gave them an olive tree that the citizens liked better. She became the guardian to the new city - Athens.

Related Links:
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