Athena: by Alisha Dhanani

Define these terms:

  • anthropomorphism-the attribution of human characteristics to non-human animals, most commonly by supposing non-human behavior to be motivated by a human emotion that might motivate superficially similar human behavior
  • epithet-an adjective or phrase expressing a quality or attruibute regarded as characteristic of the person or thing mentioned
  • eponym-a person whom a discovery, invention, place, etc., is named or thought to be named after
  • etiological tale-myth has always had an explanatory or etiological aspect. Myths have traditionally “explained” such phenomena as death, the changing of seasons, the passage of the sun and the moon, and the origin of the Universe and life itself. The myth of Demeter and Persephone is an example of an etiological myth explaining the existence of seasons
  • myth-a traditional story, especially concerning early history
  • pantheon-all the gods of a people or religion collectively; a temple dedicated to all the gods

Name 3 generations of gods in ancient Greek mythology

  1. Cronus, Rhea, Iapetus, Themus, Oceanus, Tethys, Hypieron, Thela, Crius, Mnemosyne, Coeus, Phoebe
  2. Hestia, Hera, Demeter, Poseidon, Hades, Zeus
  3. Athena, Aphrodite, Ares, Apollo, Artemis, Dionysus, Hermes, Heaphaestus, Persephone

Investigate the term mythology:

  • Myths usually contain a hero, a villan, and a challenge of some sort or something including the gods.
  • Myths take place before the current time period, because they usually are legends from the past.
  • Myths usually take place near the place the event happens because it has to be somewhere near so that someone can tell another person close by.
  • The purpose of myths are to know how and why certain aspects of life and the Earth are the way they are. For example, the seasons, the weather, even peoples emotions. Also, to know how certain things in life were achieved
  •  Myths are believable to many people because they had no idea how certain things were made ,born, or how an event occurred and now they had an answer to what exactly happened, that made sense.
About Athena-
  • sometimes known as Athena Parthenos- “Virgin Athena”
  • Goddess of wisdom, courage, strength, skill, arts and crafts, and war/strategy
  • favorite daughter of Zeus
  • participated in the Trojan War
  • an epithet is that she is grey-eyed; underside of olive tree’s leaves is grey
  • Parthenon was made for Athena in Acropolis and has a statue of her inside. It represents her modesty and attributes. She was admired greatly for her virginity because that was how woman should act during this time period.
  • Athena competed with Poseidon to be the deity of Athens. To settle this, they would both give a gift to the city and see which one they preferred. Poseidon stuck the ground with a trident, one of his signatures.Athena gave them the first domesticated olive tree that gave the Athenians food, oil, and wood. As a result,they accepted her gift and Athens was her deity.
Athena’s Origin-
Athena’s birth is very memorable and very different than most other births. Metis, a Titan, had gotten pregnant with Zeus’s child. Zeus had swallowed Metis because he wanted to prevent her from having offspring, but little did he know she was already pregnant. As a result, Zeus was pregnant with Athena. Zeus, hated being pregnant, and got headaches so, Hephaestus got an ax and cut open Zeus’s head. Athena, had sprung from his head and was fully-armed and fully-grown.
Her Symbols-
  • owls
  • olive trees
  • snakes
  • Aegis
  • armor
  • helmets
  • spears
Athena in Trojan War-
To prevent the Trojan War Athena descended from Olympus and walked between the two armies, trying to keep from both sides. Unfortunately a Trojan soldier named Pandaros, violated his oath and let loose his arrow, which started the Trojan War. Athena, expressed her displeasure by helping the other side to emerge victorious. Also, the famous Trojan horse was Athena’s idea.
Homeric Hymn to Athena-
To Athenabegin to sing of Pallas Athena, the glorious Goddess, bright-eyed, 
inventive, unbending of heart, 
pure virgin, saviour of cities, 
courageous, Tritogeneia. Wise Zeus himself bare her 
from his awful head, arrayed in warlike arms 
of flashing gold, and awe seized all the gods as they gazed. 
But Athena sprang quickly from the immortal head
and stood before Zeus who holds the aegis, 
shaking a sharp spear: great Olympus began to reel horribly
at the might of the bright-eyed Goddess,
and earth round about cried fearfully, 
and the sea was moved and tossed with dark waves,   
while foam burst forth suddenly: 
the bright Son of Hyperion stopped his swift-footed horses a long while, until the maiden Pallas Athena had stripped the heavenly armour from her immortal shoulders
And wise Zeus was glad.And so hail to you, daughter of Zeus who holds the aegis
Now I will remember you and another song as well.
The Odyssey- 

[44] Then the Goddess, bright-eyed Athena, answered him:
[45] –Father of us all, you son of Cronus, high above all lords, yes, truly that man lies low in a destruction that is his due; so, too, may any other also be destroyed who does such deeds.
   But my heart is torn for wise Ulysses, unfortunate man, who far from his friends has long been suffering afflictions [50] in a sea-encircled island, where is the navel of the sea.
   It’s a wooded island, and there resides a Goddess, daughter of Atlas of baneful mind, who knows the depths of every sea, and himself holds the tall pillars which keep earth and heaven apart. 
   [55] It is his daughter who keeps back that wretched, sorrowing man; and ever with soft and wheedling words she charms him that he may forget Ithaca.
   But Ulysses, in his longing to see were it but the smoke leaping up from his own land, wishes to die.
   Yet your [60] heart do not regard it, Olympian. Did not Ulysses beside the ships of the Argives offer you sacrifice without limitation of supply or effort in the broad land of Troy?
   For what reason then did you conceive such wrath against him, O Zeus.

Then Zeus, the cloud-gatherer, answered her and said:
   –My child, what a word has escaped the barrier of your teeth?
   [65] How should I, then, forget godlike Ulysses, who is beyond all mortals in wisdom, and beyond all has paid sacrifice to the immortal Gods, who hold broad heaven?
   No, it is Poseidon, the earth-enfolder, who is ever filled with stubborn wrath because of the Cyclops, whom Ulysses blinded of his eye– [70] even the godlike Polyphemus, whose might is greatest among all the Cyclopes; and the nymph Thoosa bore him, daughter of Phorcys who rules over the unresting sea; for in the excavated caves she lay with Poseidon.
   From that time forth Poseidon, the earth-shaker, [75] does not indeed slay Ulysses, but makes him a wanderer from his native land.
   But come, let us who are here all take thought of his return, that he may come home; and Poseidon will let go his anger, for he will in no wise be able, against all the immortal Gods and in their despite, to contend alone.

  • She was an important goddess in the story of “The Odyssey” as an assistant to Odysseus on his journey home.Since the beginning of the Odyssey, Athena helps Odysseus. First she persuades Zeus to send Hermes to Calypso island to inform Calypso that it was Zeus’s will that Odysseus continued his journey home. Calypso had to let Odysseus go despite her own wishes to have him stay on the island forever.


Athena – Profile of the Greek Goddess Athena. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2011.

Cartoon Stock. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2011. <

The Goddess of Athena in the Odyssey. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2011.

Google. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2011. <
Hymns to the Goddess Athena. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2011.
<;. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2011.
Athena, Greek Goddess of Wisdom. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2011. <http:/;.

Athena. N.p., n.d. Web. 21 Sept. 2011. <

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