Olympos: Athena, Goddess of Wisdom

269px-Athena_Giustiniani_Musei_Capitolini_MC278Studio Tablinum: Athena was not only the Goddess of Wisdom but anche a patron of the war who did not hesitate for a moment to fight her enemies. She overseeing the noblest part of the defense to war in order to “good causes.” The bloodiest aspects of the war were, indeed, assigned to the god Ares, as we write some months in August. Athena was the daughter of Zeus and the Oceanid Metis, the story of her birth is very special. Zeus received from his divine grandparents Uranus and Gaia a sinister prophecy:

if he have generated another son, he, when he grew up he would kill him.

So the Father of the Gods, who he did not want losing his status, decided to make the insane act of swallowing his newborn.

And so, nine months later, Zeus began to suffer a massive migraine that threatened to drive him madso for last resort, persuaded Hephaestus to hit him a blow on the head of the ax. From the wound caused came out Athena, already fully armed.

Athena’s holy objects were the lance, the aegis and helmet. The olive tree and little owl was sacred to the goddess. The Goddess of Wisdom was also called “Glaukopis” for her blue-eyes.

nike_di_samotraciaHis wisdom in peace time was devoted to agriculture, handicraft, weaving and metallurgy. Attributable to Athena was the construction of the largest ship of that time: the ship Argo, which is used by Argonauts heroes . Her is also the invention of olive oil, even today excellent product from Greece.

In war, her wisdom was the prerogative of the warriors with cunning and shrewdness. sometimes she decide to make a gift of his powers to her protected mortals, one of them The most famous was the wily Odysseus.

Athena is Frequently accompanied by Nike, goddess of victory, which symbolically is brought in the right palm of the Goddess, how to assimilate the wisdom during the battle with the victory itself.

poseidone e ateneThe Goddess Athena fight with the God Poseidon for the sovereignty of Attica and Athens. Poseidon with a blow of his trident made to gush out una sorgente di acqua marina from the ground of the city while Athena made appear an Olive Tree. The dispute was resolved in favor of the Goddess of Wisdom thanks to athenians women determined the victory of Athena.

partenoneAthena was sculpted by Phidias in a famous chryselephantine statue, now lost, Athena Parthenos that was in the Athenian temple dedicated to her: the Parthenon. Frequently, resting on his shoulder is the little owl, its symbol “par excellence”.

The cult of Athena was spread in all of Greece, from Sparta, to Megara and Argos; Also into Troy she received a special honors, identified with a very old idol called Palladio, the same one that was stolen during the night from the heroes Odysseus and Diomedes, this act was mentioned as one of the causes of the defeat of Troy during the ten-year war.

Pallas_AtheneThe Trojan prince Paris was one of the heroes less loved by the Goddess of Wisdom. He was the cause of the Trojan war itself with the rape of Helen, but there was anche through more personal reason, as we saw some months ago dealing with the vicissitudes of Aphrodite. Paris During the famous “Judgment” chose Aphrodite, instead of Athena or Hera. During the Trojan War she sided with the Achaeans. She especially protected Odysseus and Menelaus and, under the walls of the besieged city, she crushed and defeated Ares.

Athena is known as one of the three virgin goddesses, she never marries and shows no sexual interest in males, referred to as virgin because she was able to remain independent. Despite this reputation, Hephaestus want to couple with her.

 

One day the God of Fire, tried to rape her in his forge, but the goddess was able to escape from him and Hephaestus reached the apex bathing Athena’s leg.

From the ground, so fertilized, was born Erichthonius, the Goddess Athena, anyway had gone, considered him a legitimate child. When he grew up, unbeknownst by the Olympians, lo rende immortale, she put him under the custody of the king of Athens, Cecrops. When Erichthonius grew up dethroned the king of Athens Amphictyon and became a king.

aracneOne of the most cruel tales was the story about Arachne *: the young women Arachne boasted of being a good weaver, Also better than Athena, who was the owner of That female art. Furious, the Goddess of Wisdom defy Arachne to a weaving race. In effect Arachne wove very well but the theme was derisively towards Zeus. Transformed Athena Arachne into a spider, forcing her to weave her spun for eternity.

medusaAthena, however, was more benevolent with the semi-divine hero Perseus by helping him in the killing of the Gorgon Medusa. She gave him her shield, the aegis, and the hero was protected during the fight with the Gorgon.

Perseus chopped off the head of Medusa and gave it to Athena and she decorate the aegis like with that terrible trophy.

Originally, Medusa was the most beautiful of the three Gorgons sisters. She was seduced by the God Poseidon into the temple of the Goddess of Wisdom. Athena punished Medusa for the profanation, changing her handsome face into a monstrous sembiance.

Athena became also benefactor of Heracle. During the fight with the Nemean lion she explain to the hero how to cut off the skin of the lion by using its claws. The skin of the lion with the cudgel used during the fight, became one most distinguishing attributes for him.

atena e odisseoWith Odysseus was almost maternal. Athena help his protégé to return to his beloved Ithaca, changing its appearance from time to time. Interceded on with the witch Circe, and the Oceanid Calypso and feace with the feace princess Nausicaa, helping considerably the hero and in such a way for resumption the way back to its own island.

Athena help her “protégé” to return to his beloved Ithaca, changing its appearance from time to time. Interceded with Circe, and the Oceanid Calypso and the Feces princess Nausicaa, helping considerably the hero to come back in Itaca.

Athena was famous for her wisdom and intellectual strength, a landmark for greek men and women that ask her protection during disputes of all kinds: legal, family and life daily.

Athena had the last word in the event of an equal right of both parties to the dispute. During the Panathenaic party the athenians girls donated the statue of the Goddess am headmade peplos,a propitiatory gift. Next month we will discover the vicissitudes of Dionysus, God of Transgression and Delirium.

Alessandro Cerioli

* Even today, the term Arachne stands for spider

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