Athena, one of the most important goddesses in Greek mythology. In Roman mythology she became identified with the goddess Minerva. Also known as Pallas Athena. Athena sprang full-grown and armored from the forehead of the god Zeus and was his favorite child. She is known as the goddess of wisdom and is quite shrewd in her dealings with mortals and gods alike. However, she can be known to be quite petty when being compared to other goddesses as can be depicted from her participation in the Trojan destruction where the root of the war was the contest between the three goddesses Hera, Athena and Aphrodite in terms of beauty with Paris, prince of Troy as judge. Paris chose Aphrodite resulting in Athena turning on the city of Troy as her enemy. He entrusted her with his shield, adorned with the hideous head of Medusa the Gorgon, his buckler, and his principal weapon, the thunderbolt. A virgin goddess, she was called Parthenos (“the maiden”). Her major temple, the Parthenon, was in Athens, which, according to legend, became hers as a result of her gift of the olive tree to the Athenian people.

Athena was primarily the goddess of the Greek cities, of industry and the arts, and, in later mythology, of wisdom; she was also goddess of war. Athena was the strongest supporter, among the gods, of the Greek side in the Trojan War. After the fall of Troy, however, the Greeks failed to respect the sanctity of an altar to Athena at which the Trojan prophet Cassandra sought shelter. As punishment, storms sent by the god of the sea, Poseidon, at Athena's request destroyed most of the Greek ships returning from Troy.

Posted 2011-01-24 and updated on Jun 11, 2011 9:31pm by crisd

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