Greek Mythology 101: Athena

Chapter VIII


Hello and welcome back! As I said in our last chapter, this week’s chapter was going to be about Athena. You have all heard of her name, the goddess of warfare, strategy, and most important of all; wisdom. I hope you will enjoy this chapter!


Athena’s birth is a very interesting one, it was explained in the first chapter, but i’ll cover it quickly. Zeus was given a prophecy that said one of his children will overthrow him, so he came to the oh so natural conclusion to turn his wife into a water droplet and swallow her so that doesn’t happen. Well things turned out differently, Zeus’s head started to get bigger and bigger so he had Hephestus(the god of carpentry) cut his head open. Out of his head came Athena, fully armored and ready for battle. There are other versions of Athena’s birth but I’m keeping it simple with this one.


Odysseus, one of the most well known Greek warriors from Homer’s infamous Odyssey. Athena favored him and helped guide him through the Trojan war. She helped him most on his journey back, for example, Odysseus got kidnapped by a sea nymph and Athena convinced Hermes to convince the sea nymph to let him go.


As mentioned in Hera’s chapter, Athena was a part of The Judgement of Paris, which caused the Troy war. If you’re skipping through and haven’t read Hera’s chapter let me explain, so Athena, Hera, and Aphrodite were all fighting over who was the prettiest so Zeus sent Paris to judge. In the end they all bribed him, Athena bribing him with glory and fame as a warrior, Hera bribed him with power all over europe and asia, and last but definitely not least he chose Aphrodite who bribed him with the most beautiful wife in the world that was not her. Because he chose Aphrodite, Hera and Athena were mad and started the Trojan war.


I’m sure you’ve all heard of Medusa, a woman who has snakes for hair, but what does this have to do with Athena? Well Medusa didn’t always have such a fearsome appearance. Before she was turned into the monster she was a priestess working for Athena, for some context Athena is a pure god, untainted by lewd men so it would make sense to have a rule for her priestesses to be pure like her. Medusa was said to be very beautiful so beautiful in fact, that the people of Athens said she could rival Athena herself. Athena obviously didn’t like this but she knew that the humans didn’t know anything and couldn’t help themselves. As mentioned in Poseidon’s chapter, he and Athena were rivals who challenged each other to be the patron god of Athens. Back to where we were, Poseidon noticed that Athena didn’t like the attention Medusa was getting, so he planned to get his revenge on Athena by going after Medusa no longer keeping her pure. When Athena found out one of her priestesses was no longer pure she got really mad.Even though it wasn’t Medusa’s fault  Athena was still mad and cursed Medusa, so she has snakes for hair and is no longer beautiful.


Athena is the patron goddess of Athens, that means she is the god that is worshiped there. They also built a temple for her called the Temple of Athena Nike. Her wisdom and philosophy had a big enough influence, it was the main part of the cults made for her. Festivals for Athena were based on athletics and military power. In the end most of the hero’s she favored ended up having more brains than muscles.


I hope you enjoyed this new chapter of Greek mythology 101, and enjoyed this chapter about Athena. See you next time!