Athena, also known as Minerva in Roman mythology, is the goddess of Military Strategy, Wisdom, and Crafts.


Athena was born from Zeus and Metis, although that is a story in and of itself. Quite imprudently, Zeus sired a child with Metis, only realizing later that if that child was a son, he would be more powerful than him. In an attempt to stop that, Zeus ate the pregnant Metis, the Goddess of Prudence. Somehow, Metis survived being eaten and went into Zeus' head, giving birth to Athena while having enough time for her to grow while she made her a complete set of armor and weapons(yes, apparently there's a smithy up in Zeus' noggin). As Athena grew, Zeus experienced severe headaches until he had Hephaestus, God of Smithing, open up his head, whereby Athena popped out, fully dressed, ready for war, and presumably covered in brain juices.
Other stories say that her father was Pallas(who later tried to rape her and got killed as a result), others say that she was the daughter of Poseidon, but that she begged to be adopted by Zeus. Most stories say that Athena doesn't have a real mother.

Theologically speaking, since Athena was the Goddess of Wisdom, and that Zeus absorbed Metis, who was also the personification of Wisdom, it could be said that power and authority was given to men.

Athena was also the Goddess of Crafts, and was said to invent everything from flutes to chariots to ships all the way to cooking.



Athena was often portrayed as a kind, chaste goddess, who was comparatively more forgiving than other gods/goddesses. There was a time that a man named Teiresias saw her bathing, just like what happened with Artemis. What Athena did,though, instead of having him killed by his own pets, was to blind him. Feeling sorry for him, she decided to grant him inner wisdom, earning himself much renown and respect.

Another time, she and Poseidon contested for control of a city, and had a contest on who could grant them the greatest gift. Poseidon struck the ground and a spring came forth, but it was a salt water spring so it wasn't very useful. Athena stabbed her spear into the ground and the first olive tree grew. Indignant at his defeat, Poseidon flooded a few of Athena's cities, whereby Athena moved to the city she won and named it Athens.

Derived Words

Athenaeum (or atheneum)
a) an institution for the promotion of learning (like a literary club or a scientific academy);
b) a library, reading room or similar.

Athens, a city named after Athena. Look up