Do you fancy Greek mythology? They are filled with interesting stories that sometimes make up the believes of some cultures, as well as the inspiration for the arts and design.
For this post, we will be speaking on Athena, the goddess of battle strategy/ military greatness, and wisdom. She is the female counterpart of Ares, who is also her half-brother next to Hercules.
Athena, identified by the Romans as Minerva, was the daughter of Zeus. She was considered the wisest, most courageous, and certainly the most resourceful of the Olympian gods.
Athena is also often portrayed as companion of heroes and is the patron goddess of heroic endeavour. She is often depicted in art with armour, a golden helmet, a shield, and holding a spear. She carries a breastplate called the Aegis, given to her by her father, Zeus; which later featured the head of the gorgon Medusa with a fringe of snakes.
Her armour is the aegis made, in some accounts, from the skin of a Giant, hung with tassels of gold, and featuring the head of the Gorgon given to her by Perseus.
She had many names that explain her. Some of her names are helmet head, Athena the wise and others.
- Athena's Birth
Zeus was told that his son would take his throne from him, just as he had taken power from his father Cronus. Accordingly, when Metis was pregnant, he swallowed her and Athena was born from Zeus’ head, wearing armour and fully grown.
It is told that Athena was produced without a mother. Zeus experienced an enormous headache. Hephaestus (god of fire, metalworking, stone masonry, forges and the art of sculpture; the son of Zeus and Hera) took a wedge and split open Zeus's skull and Athena emerged fully grown and in armour.
There was an alternative story that Zeus swallowed his first wife Metis, the goddess of counsel for fear of a prophecy that her next child with him, a son, may be more powerful than Zeus and would overthrow him. However, she had already conceived when that happened, and Athena finally emerged from Zeus.
Being the favourite child of Zeus, she had great power.
More about Metis, she was the one of the Okeanides and the Titan of prudence, good council, planning, advice, craftiness and wisdom. Now we know where Athena got her known features from.
- Athena, the Virgin Goddess
Athena was never swayed by love or passion and never had any children. However, there were some gods who tried but never succeeded.
- Athena and her Aiding
Athena, as a war goddess, inspires and fights alongside the Greek heroes; her aid is synonymous with military prowess. She often helped other heroes, like Odysseus, Jason, Hercules and Perseus.
She and Hermes guided Perseus in his quest to kill the gorgon Medusa. As Medusa is known to turn any man to stone with direct eye contact, Athena gave Perseus her polished shield to be used as a mirror against Medusa. Athena then also guided his hand as he cut off Medusa’s head with his sword.
After which, Perseus gave the gorgon head to Athena, and the goddess placed it on her aegis.
- Athena's Association
Athena’s name is closely associated with the name of the city of Athens and being their adored patroness.
Athena is also associated with household crafts, giving mortals the gifts of cooking, sewing and craft for making cloth - especially spinning and weaving.
Objects associated with the goddess include an owl - symbol of wisdom - and the olive tree.
Inspired by the goddess herself on her bravery and brains, we present you the Athena's Elements Bracelet Pack that could also be worn as anklets!