Athena(redirected from Athena Pallas)
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Athena (əthēˈnə), or Pallas Athena (pălˈəs), in Greek religion and mythology, one of the most important Olympian deities. According to myth, after Zeus seduced Metis he learned that any son she bore would overthrow him, so he swallowed her alive. Later Hephaestus split Zeus' skull with an ax, and out sprang Athena, fully armed. Athena was a deity of diverse functions and attributes. Her most conspicuous role was perhaps that of a goddess of war, the female counterpart of Ares. However, she was also a goddess of peace, noted for her compassion and generosity. Like Minerva, with whom the Romans identified her, she was a patron of the arts and crafts, especially spinning and weaving. In later times she was important as a goddess of wisdom. Athena was also a guardian of cities, notably Athens, where the Parthenon was erected as her temple. In a contest with Poseidon concerning dominion over Attica, Athena made an olive tree grow on the Acropolis while Poseidon caused a saltwater stream to gush from the Acropolis. The other Olympians, asked to judge the contest, decided in favor of Athena. Her statue, the Palladium, was supposed to protect the city that possessed it. It was said that because she accidentally killed Pallas she set the name Pallas before her own. Although a virgin goddess, she was concerned with fertility, and at Athens and Elis her worship was notably maternal. Athena is represented in art as a stately figure, armored, and wielding the aegis. Her most important festival was the Panathenaea, which was celebrated annually at Athens. It included athletic and musical contests, poetic recitations, and sacrifices. At the end of the festivities a grand procession carried a richly embroidered peplos to the Acropolis as a present to Athena.
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sprang from the head of Zeus when Hephaestus split it open with an axe. [Gk. Myth.: Benét, 60]
(Rom. Minerva) protector of craftsmen. [Gk. Myth.: Kravitz, 67]
assumes Mentor’s form to persuade Telemachus to search for his father. [Gk. Lit.: Odyssey]
Athens’ patroness; goddess of war and fecundity. [Gk. Myth.: Parrinder, 33; Kravitz, 40]
goddess of spinning and weaving. [Gk. Myth.: Howe, 45]
See: Sewing and Weaving
goddess who had no love affairs and never married, called Parthenos, ‘the Virgin.’ [Gk. Myth.: Benét, 60]
(Rom. Minerva) goddess of war. [Gk. Myth.: Howe, 44]
Athena (Rom. Minerva)
goddess of wisdom. [Gk. and Rom. Myth.: Brewer Dictionary, 713]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
Greek myth a virgin goddess of wisdom, practical skills, and prudent warfare. She was born, fully armed, from the head of Zeus
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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