greek harbour

The Greek Goddess (15 of 20) - ATHENA

Areas of Influence: Athena is the goddess of war, wisdom, and domestic craft. Unlike the war god Ares, she was more of a strategist and a diplomat and was called upon to mediate in several disputes and wars among the gods. She owned no weapons of her own borrowing them instead from Zeus.

Athena was also associated with domestic crafts. In Greek mythology she taught Prometheus architecture, astrology, mathematics, medicine and navigation. 

Athena is the Patron Goddess of the city of Athens where her most famous statue is situated in the Parthenon. Athena oversees the physical buildings and structures that protect the Greek people such as harbours, fortresses and law courts. Athena assisted many of the Greek heroes in their quests including Perseus, Hercules, Odysseus and Jason.

Origins and Family: Athena had a very unusual birth as she sprung, fully grown, from the head of her father, Zeus. He had swallowed her mother, Metis, whole, fearing that like his father before him his position would be usurped by one of his children. Athena became Zeus’s favorite child, so much so that he entrusted her with his shield, the Aegis, and allowed to use his thunderbolt.

Marriage: She herself never married. There are several myths where Athena defends her virginity when she receives unwelcome male attention. This is why the temple dedicated to her is called the Parthenon as the word means temple of the virgin in Greek. Despite being a virgin she had a child named Erichthonius. He was born after a failed rape attempt when his father’s seed fell upon the fertile earth.

Roman Equivalent: Minerva

Symbol: Athena is usually depicted wearing a helmet and a goat skin breastplate known as the aegis. On the breastplate she mounted the terrifying head of the Goddess Medusa.