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Athenas: Greek Gods and Religious Practices

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Athena

When people hear the words “Greek gods” they immediately think of Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades. While those three play a big role in Greek mythology, there are many other gods and goddesses who are also very important and highly worshipped (C. Hemingway, S. Hemingway). Another highly worshipped goddess is the goddess of wisdom, Athena. Born from the head of Zeus, Athena is his favorite daughter and is highly respected by the other gods. She is one of three virgin goddesses and has many temples dedicated to her worship (“The Goddess Athena”). As the goddess of wisdom, Athena was not only the goddess of logic, but also the goddess of arts, crafts, and battle strategy; her cool logic helped her to aid heroes such as Odysseus and Hercules, as well as invent many items including the flute and the plow.

Athena’s tale begins with her unlikely and unusual birth. Her father, Zeus, swallowed her mother, Metis, while she was pregnant out of fear that the child would one day grow to overpower him and take his kingdom. Metis gave birth and when Athena was fully grown, she sprung from Zeus’ forehead (godandgoddess.com). Known as Minerva by the Romans and Parthenos by the Athenians, Athena is most commonly described as a tall woman wearing full armor and a helmet while carrying a spear and a shield. Her shield, also called the aegis, bore the head of Medusa, which Athena used to turn her enemies into stone (Felson 853). The owl, the shield, and the olive tree are all symbols used to represent Athena (“Athena”). She is also one of the only goddesses in Greek culture to remain a virgin (godandgoddess.com).

Although Athena is mainly known as the goddess of war strategy, she is also the patron goddess of other aspec...

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...Wisdom and Craftsmanship.” godandgoddess.com. n.p., n.d. Web. 11 March 2014. .

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Harding, Caroline H. and Samuel B. Harding. “Athena, The Goddess of Wisdom.” The Baldwin Project: Greek Gods, Heroes, and Men. Yesterday’s Classics, LCC, 2000-2012. Web. 23 March 2014. .

Hemingway, Colette and Sean Hemingway. “Greek Gods and Religious Practices.” metmuseum.org. n.p., n.d. Web. 17 March 2014. .

“The Goddess Athena.” The Encyclopedia of the Goddess Athena. n.p., n.d. Web. 17 March 2014. .