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Chapter 8: Athena


Zeus swallowed his consort METIS (“wisdom”), ~ he had made her pregnant, since he feared that she would bear a child who would overthrow him. And also so ATHENA , or ATHENE (MINERVA), was born from the divine head of Zeus. Hephaestus, v his ax, may have facilitated the birth. The chance was awesome together Athena sprang forth totally grown, a beautiful young mrs in complete armor, fearlessly announcing her arrival through a thunderous war-cry.


Athena’s bear allegorically proclaims her crucial character: her divine wisdom drawn from the head of god; the distinct bond the affection in between father and daughter; her championship the heroes and male causes, born together she to be from the male, and not indigenous a mother’s womb. A dread goddess of war, she remained a virgin.


Athena bears an aloof kind of loveliness, akin come the beauty beauty of youthful masculinity. She is associated with the owl and also the snake. She is usually represented with helmet, spear, and shield or aegis the bore a relenten of the head that Medusa. With her there may be a female winged number (called NIKE , “victory”), bearing a crown or garland the success. Athena herself as victorious battle goddess was referred to as Athena Nike and also the an easy but elegant holy place of Athena Nike stands to the right of the entrance to the Acropolis.


Athena and also Poseidon vied for regulate of Athens and its bordering territory, Attica. The dispute took place on the Acropolis. Poseidon to win the rock with his trident and produced a salt feather or a horse. Athena carried forth an olive tree indigenous the ground by the touch of she spear and also she to be proclaimed the victor. The olive was basic to Athenian economy and also life. upset at losing, Poseidon to be appeased and also continued to it is in worshiped in Athens, particularly in conjunction with the Athenian hero ERECHTHEUS (see MLS, chapter 23). In his lovely temple the ERECHTHEUM , or ERECHTHEION, top top the Acropolis, just throughout from the Parthenon, the clues of the blow of his trident supposedly could be seen, and nearby it, the olive tree that Athena had produced ongoing to grow.


The PANATHENAEA , or PANATHENAIA, was an yearly festival celebrate the date of birth of Athena; every 4th year the celebration of the an excellent Panathenaea was specifically splendid. Necessary in the ceremonies were sacrifices and also games; the prizes for winners in the gamings were special Panathenaic amphoras—vases inscribed and also decorated with a relenten of Athena and also containing sacred olive oil. A Panathenaic procession wound its means through the city ending with the presentation of one embroidered robe (peplos) come Athena top top the Acropolis. Athenians (young and old, male and also female) carrying spiritual implements, top sacrificial animals, v chariots or on horseback, figured in the procession.


The PARTHENON is the good temple to Athena Parthenos ~ above the Acropolis the Athens the was built in the fifth century B.C. PARTHENOS , one adjective meaning "virgin," was a conventional epithet of Athena. The is a many beautiful Doric holy place (even in its damaged state today), and its sculpture (created under the aegis that the good Athenian sculptor Pheidias) bear tribute come Athena herself and also her city and all that they median forever.

east pediment: the dramatic moment of the bear of Athena, who stood in the center before the throne the Zeus, from who head she had actually just spring, totally grown and completely armed. Other magnificent figures are current at the miracle. At the corners, the horses of Helius (the Sun) and those of Selene (the Moon) set the momentous occasion in cosmic time. West pediment: the contest between Athena and Poseidon, defined above; this two central figures pull far from each various other as they produce the gifts with which lock vie. On either side, numbers of Athenian divinities and heroic queens are witnesses. Doric frieze: on the exterior room metopes (relief sculpture) showing four subjects: the battle between the Lapiths and the Centaurs; the bag of Troy; the Gigantomachy; and the battle between the Greeks and the Amazons. Ionic frieze: in the interior, on the outer wall of the naos (or cella), continuous relief sculpture provides the splendid Panathenaic procession defined above. Athenian men and also women are shown as marshals, attendants, horsemen, hoplites and assistants in the worship, in addition to the animals of routine sacrifice. At the orgasm the ceremonial robe is gift to a priestess of Athena while, on either side, enthroned Olympian divine beings witness the joyous solemn event of public piety. The Athena Parthenos: this monumental statue of Athena stand in the cella (or naos). The surfaces of the standing goddess were made that gold and ivory and also she organized a figure of Nike (Victory) in her ideal hand; she wore a helmet and also the aegis through the head the Medusa, and a spear and also shield are at her side; sophisticated decorative reliefs amplified the statue, which has not survived.


Athena is often called Pallas Athena and also sometimes she is provided the obscure location TRITOGENEIA , which argues her web links with Triton, a river-god. Triton had actually a daughter called PALLAS who offered to exercise the arts of war through Athena. As the an outcome of a quarrel, Athena impulsively hurt Pallas. Pallas died and also Athena to be distraught when she totally realized what she had done. In her sorrow, she make a wooden statue of the girl i m sorry was called the PALLADIUM , or PALLADION. With the firm of Zeus this Palladium dropped into the territory of the Trojans, where, as a talisman, it brought with it the destiny of their city. The word Pallas probably way “maiden” and designates Athena’s virginity, prefer the epithet parthenos, “virgin.”


Athena designed the flute upon hearing the lamentations and the sound that the hissing the the serpent hair of the making it through Gorgons, after Perseus had killed their sister, Medusa (see MLS, thing 21). She easily grew come dislike her invention due to the fact that her beautiful cheeks came to be distorted as soon as she blew right into the instrument, and so she threw the away. The satyr MARSYAS picked up the flute and became so great a player that he dared to complete with Apollo in a music contest, through dire results for self (see MLS, chapter 11).


ARACHNE to be born in a lowly family, yet her ability in spinning and weaving was extraordinary. As soon as Athena (or Minerva in Ovid’s account) learned the Arachne"s fame as a worker of structure rivaled her own, she was figured out to destroy her. Arachne to be foolish sufficient not to admit that Athena was her teacher and challenged she to a contest. Disguised as an old woman, Athena warned Archane around the risk of her hubris but Arachne persisted. Athena in fury threw off she disguise and accepted the challenge. She wove at her loom, with surpassing skill, a tapestry illustrating noble scenes from mythology. Arrogant Arachne, on the various other hand, wove into her tapestry scene of the gods’ less honorable amorous conquests. Athena to be furious, an especially since she might find no fault with Arachne’s terrific work.

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She tore increase the embroidered tapestry and beat Arachne’s face with the shuttle. Grief-stricken, Arachne strangled herself through a noose, but Athena took pity and transformed her into a spider; together such, she and also her descendants practice the art of weaving forever.