In Greek mythology, Athena (also called Athene, Latin: Minerva) is the shrewd companion of heroes and the goddess of heroic endeavour. She is the virgin patron of Athens, which built the Parthenon to worship her.
Other origin tales: Edit
Fragments attributed by the Christian Eusebius of Caesarea to the semi-legendary Phoenician historian Sanchuniathon, which Eusebius thought had been written before the Trojan war, make Athena instead, the daughter of Cronus, a king of Byblos who is said to have visited 'the inhabitable world' and bequeathed Attica to Athena.
Sanchuniathon's account would make Athena, as was Hera, the sister of Zeus, not his daughter.
Medusa and Tiresias: Edit
In a late myth, Medusa, unlike her two sister-Gorgons, came to be thought of by the Classical Greeks during the fifth century as mortal and extremely beautiful, but she had sex with (or was raped by) Poseidon in a temple of Athena. Upon discovering the desecration of her temple, Athena changed Medusa's form to match that of her sister Gorgons as punishment. Medusa's hair turned into snakes, her lower body was transformed also, and meeting her gaze would turn any living creature to stone. In the earliest of myths there is but one Gorgon and the only snakes were two wrapped around her waist as a belt.
In one version of the Tiresias myth, Tiresias stumbled upon Athena bathing, and was blinded by her nakedness. To compensate him for his loss, she sent serpents to lick his ears, which gave him the gift of prophecy.
Minerva was the Roman name of Greek goddess Athena. She was considered to be the virgin goddess of warriors, poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, crafts, and the inventor of music.
- Theoi.com Cult of Athena—Extracts of classical texts
- (Carlos Parada) Athena Album—Repertory of main Athena types and post-Renaissance depictions
- Roy George, "Athena: The sculptures of the goddess"—Another, more extensive repertory of Greek and Roman types