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Transcript of Athena
After swallowing his wife, Metis, Zeus suffered from a terrible migraine.He sat down near the river of Triton and Prometheus struck his forehead with an axe. Athena sprang out of Zeus' forehead fully grown and fully clad in Metis' armour.
Zeus, the god of the sky and weather, and ruler of all the gods, was Athena's father. Metis was Zeus' wife at the time, and she was wiser than any mortal or god. Zeus, fearing his children would overthrow him, swallowed Metis while impregnated with Athena.
What is a hero?
A hero is properly defined as somebody who accomplishes dangerous feats to help somebody else, but the heroes of Greek mythology do not qualify. They were a selfish bunch, often harboring additional antisocial tendencies -- in other words, the Greek gods are not exactly role models for the younger generation of today.
Interesting Facts about Athena
Athena was known as the virgin goddess -- she had no children. The people of Athens built a temple to Athena on the hill of Acropolis called the Parthenon (from parthenos, meaning "virgin.") Although she was a virgin, she had a child named Erichthonius who was born after Hephaestus failed to rape her, and his seed fell upon Gaia, Zeus' grandmother, and impregnated her. After Erichthonius was born, Gaia gave him to Athena.
Medusa and Athena
Once upon a time, there was a magnificently beautiful girl named Medusa who lived in Athens. She was considered the prettiest of all. Unfortunately, she was prideful and boastful about her beauty.
One day, Medusa visited the Parthenon with her friends. The Parthenon was the largest temple built to the goddess Athena. Beautiful sculptures of Athena surrounded the place, and everyone who entered was grateful to Athena's wisdom and watching over Athens. Everyone but Medusa.
Medusa sighed happily and said, "This is a beautiful temple. It's a shame it was wasted on Athena, for I am so much prettier than she is." Her friends and the priestesses turned pale at her remarks and everyone fled the temple to alert Athena. Medusa did not notice, as she was admiring herself in the bronze doors. Athena's reflection appeared and she said angrily, "Vain and foolish girl. You think you are prettier than I am! I doubt it to be true, but even if it were, there is more to life than beauty alone. While others work and play and learn, you do little but boast and admire yourself."
Medusa tried to argue but Athena dismissed her befre she could speak. “Nonsense,” Athena retorted, “Beauty fades swiftly in all mortals. It does not comfort the sick, teach the unskilled or feed the hungry. And by my powers, your loveliness shall be stripped away completely. Your fate shall serve as a reminder to others to control their pride.” Following that, Athena made Medusa's face turn into a a hideous, monstrous being and her hair twisted into thick and horrible snakes that fought each other atop her head.
“Medusa, for your pride this has been done. Your face is now so terrible to behold that the mere sight of it will turn a man to stone,” proclaimed the goddess, “Even you, Medusa, should you seek your reflection, shall turn to rock the instant you see your face.”
And with that, Athena sent Medusa with her hair of snakes to live with the blind monsters -- the gorgon sisters -- at the ends of the earth, so that no innocents would be accidentally turned to stone at the sight of her.
Goddess of Wisdom
Athena had many half-brothers and half-sisters - Artemis, goddess of the hunt, the Graces, goddesses of charm and beauty, Hebe, goddess of youth, Helen of Troy, Porus, god of expediency, Aphrodite, goddess of love and beauty, Ares, god of war, Hermes, the messenger god of trade and luck, Hephaestus, god of metallurgy, the Muses, goddesses of literature, science, and the arts, Apollo, god of light and music, Heracles, Minos, king of Crete, Dionysus, god of wine, vegetation, and theatre, and Perseus, known for the decapitation of Medusa.
In Roman Mythology...
Athena's Roman name is Minerva.
Symbols and Powers
Athena is associated with wisdom, war, and crafts, and justice, glory, and skill in battle. Her animals are the owl and the snake. Athena is often pictured with an olive branch, for she gave the olive tree to the Athenians.
Athena's powers are reasoning in war. She served as a mediator in several wars against the gods.
Her skills and talents include craftmanship. She invented the bridle, which permitted man to tame horses, the trumpet and the flute, the pot, the rake, the plow, the yoke, the ship, and the chariot. She is the embodiment of wisdom, reason, and purity.
What is a myth?
A myth is usually a traditonal story of seemingly historical events that serves to unfold part of the world view of a people or explain a practice, belief, or natural phenomenon. It can be a popular belief or tradition that has grown up around something or someone, especially one embodying the ideals and institutions of a society or segment of society. A myth is an unfounded or false notion -- a person or thing having only an imaginary or unverifiable existence.n
In Greek mythology, an owl traditionally represents or accompanies Athena, the virgin goddess of wisdom, or Minerva, her incarnation in Roman mythology. Because of such association, the bird — often referred to as the "Owl of Athena" or the "Owl of Minerva" — has been used as a symbol of knowledge, wisdom, perspicacity and erudition throughout the Western world.
Influences Greek Mythology has on the Modern Society
Mythology is everywhere -- city names, companies, literary allusions, and many planets and constellations take their names or borrow their themes from Greek myths.
The aegis is Zeus and Athena's protective shield; however, Aegis is a modern security and risk management company. The Aegis Combat System is a naval weapons system that uses powerful computers and radars to track and guide weapons to destroy enemy targets.
The Athenians are the Mount St. Mary's College mascots in Los Angeles, California.
There is a city named Athens in the following states: Georgia, Ohio, Alabama, Indiana, Maine, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Louisiana, Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio.
Athena is unfamiliar with her emotions and feminine side. She is lacking in compassion towards others.
Athena's Business Card
Minerva the Mediator
Psychological Help for the Greeks and Romans
"Got a problem?"
Found at The Parthenon on the Hill of Acropolis
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"DLTK's Countries and Cultures - Greek MythologyThe Story of Medusa and Athena." The Story of Medusa and Athena. N.p.m n.d. Web. 25 Oct. 2013
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