Athena

The Goddess of Wisdom

Origin and Family

Athena is the daughter of Zeus and a nymph (sometimes the goddess of wisdom) named Metis. When Metis became pregnant, Zeus was warned by an Oracle that if Metis had a son, then Zeus could be overthrown. Zeus then swallowed Metis and Athena later came out of Zeus' head after he complained about a headache. In some cultures she is instead the daughter of Poseidon.

Athena turned out to be Zeus' favorite child, and she was the only one he allowed to use his lightning bolts and his aegis. Even though Athena is known as one of the three virgin goddesses, she ended up raising the half man- half snake Erichthonius, after the smith god Hephaestus tried to rape her.

Symbols

The symbols of Athena are the olive tree, the owl, her spear and aegis (shield), her helmet, and the snake.

Relationship with Mortals

Athena is known as being one of the more compassionate gods because she assisted the heroes Perseus and Hercules on their journeys. She even spared the life of Hercules' mortal father after Hercules had gone insane and started murdering people. She also helped Perseus obtain the head of Medusa by giving him her aegis.

Inventions

Before being the goddess of wisdom, Athena was previously the goddess of storms and also agriculture. She has been credited for the creation of the plow and some other farming equipment. Athena also invented the flute, but cursed anyone who touched it after she was laughed at while playing it.
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