|Athene (uh THEE nuh Goddess of
Her mother, Metis, was the first wife of Zeus and her name (Metis) might mean wisdom. If this is true, then it would be more proper to call Athene The Daughter of Wisdom instead of The Goddess of Wisdom.
When Zeus saw that Metis was pregnant, he was afraid that the child, if allowed to live, would be his doom. He swallowed Metis to prevent the birth. It didnt work. Athene sprang, fully armed and armored, from the head of Zeus but Metis was never seen again.
Athene is the virgin goddess of intellect and invention. She is one of only three who can resist the charms and spells of Aphrodite. Hestia and Artemis are the other two.
Athena aided the heroes Perseus, Jason, Cadmus, Odysseus and Heracles in their quests.
Both Athena and Poseidon wanted to be patron deity of Athens. To prove her worthiness for the honor, Athena caused an olive tree to spring up on the citadel of Athens, the Acropolis. Poseidon sought to outdo her by striking the ground with his trident and causing a spring of water to gush forth. But as he was god of the sea, the water was salty. Athena's gift to the Athenians was considered to be more useful, so she became the city's patron deity.
Athena sponsored Perseus in his quest to slay Medusa because she wanted the Gorgon's head to decorate her shield
At the battle of Troy Pallas Athene, descended Olympus and strode between the two armies, only to inspire the Trojan, Pandaros, to a supreme act of cowardice. Pandaros, against all oaths, loosed the arrow that broke the fragile peace. The arrow injured Menelaos and the bloody war was resumed to the delight and horror of the Olympians.
To avenge Aphrodites meddling, Athene gave Diomedes the ability to see the immortals on the battlefield and advised him to avoid them, but she suggested that if he sees Aphrodite, to attack her. Diomedes obeyed, and Aphrodite was the first immortal to be wounded on that bloody day.
Athene is called the grim goddess because the snaky head of The Gorgon, Medusa is on her aegis, but Athenes gift of the olive tree made her grimness tolerable. The city, Athens, was named in her honor.
Her love and protection of Odysseus permitted the long suffering hero to finally return home to his wife and son again. She would assume the shape of men, women and children to better serve as guide and protector of the resourceful Odysseus.