Athena - Minerva - Greek and Latin mythology

Athena - Minerva - Greek and Latin mythology


Athena Poliade
Roman copy of a Greek statue, Vatican Museums

Athena (or Athena), in Greek mythologyshe was born fully armed with Zeuss's brain packed with an ax from Hephaestus after Zeus had swallowed his first wife Metis.

Pallas Athena
statue placed in front of the Austrian Parliament, Vienna

Athena as well as a warrior goddess is also the goddess of reason, the arts, literature and philosophy, trade and industry. He taught men to navigate, to plow fields, to yoke oxen, to ride, and to women to weave, dye and embroider. She was also a proud goddess who severely punished those who dared compete with her (see Myth of Arachne).

As a warrior goddess she was counterposed to Ares, the personification of brutal and violent warfare.

From her derives the name of the city of Athens, in Greece, for having given the city the olive tree.

But there were many other attributes of Athena: it is said that she had invented the chariot and the war chariot; olive oil and its use in Attica.

Soul of Tiresias appearing to Odysseus,
Johann Heinrich Füssli (1741-1825), Aquarelli and gouache, Graphische Sammlung der Albertina, Vienna (Austria)

Athena, as a warrior goddess, participated in numerous enterprises: she sided with her father in the war against the Titans; he was judge in the dispute between Aphrodite and Hera; sided with the Greeks during the Trojan War; after the fall of Troy he helped Ulysses in his adventures; he directed the construction of the ship Argo; he helped Perseus in his fight against Medusa and many other enterprises.

One of the many legends tells that one day Tiresia encounters the goddess while she was taking a bath and looked at her naked in all her beauty. Athena, as soon as she realized she was being watched, was so furious that she made Tiresias blind. But repented of his gesture, she gave him the gift of prophesying and from that day the legend of Tiresias was born, the old blind man, the greatest among the diviners known in ancient times.

The rooster and the owl were sacred to Athena.

Athena had several epithets: Athena Parthenos (virgin); Athena Promocos(who fights in the front rows); Athena Polias (protector of cities);Athena Igiea (health); Athena Soteira (savior); Athena Glaucopsis(with sparkling eyes) and many others.

There Latin mythology identifies it with Minerva who presided over intellectual activity, especially scholastic and it is claimed that he was part of the Capitoline triad together with Juno (Era of the ancient Greeks and wife of Jupiter) and Jupiter (Zeus of Greek mythology).

Video: How to connect with Goddess Athena