Athena

This essay Athena has a total of 1167 words and 6 pages.


Athena
Back in time when Greece was making its mark in history as one of the great
civilization of the Ancient World, there was a great deal of emphasis on the

Gods and Goddesses. To the Greeks the world was governed by the Gods and they
were the reason many things happened in the world, mostly thing that where
unexplainable. The goddess Athena was one of the many gods or goddesses that
played a large role in Greek mythology. Even though Athena was the patron saint
of Athens she supported other Greeks outside of Athens, such as, Achilles,

Orestes, and especially Odysseus ("Athena"-1). Athena is know to be the
goddess of war, guardian of cities, patroness of arts and crafts, and promoter
of wisdom ("Images of Women..."-1). Athenaís name actually came form the

Cretan and Mycenean name Athene which predates the Greeks by about 1,500 years
(Daly-20). The ending Ď-ene,í was set aside for royalty and goddesses, like

Helene (Harris-4). She was also called by some Greeks as Pallas Athena. Not many
people know where the name Pallas came from. Some legends say she obtained it
from the giant Pallas that she killed in the war of the gods and giants
(Grant-Hazel 83). Another legend says that Athena accidentally killed her
childhood playmate Pallas. By taking Pallasí in front of her own, Athena shows
the grief that she endured for the loss of her friend (Daly-20). Athena had such
an impact on the Greeks that the Romans adopted her and called her Minerva
("Minerva"-1). The origins of Athenaís name is not the only discrepancy
that historians have had. The origin of where Athena came form is also a
discrepancy. Zeus feared that he would be overcome by a son greater than he born
from the intelligent Metis. To prevent this Zeus ate Metis. There for, Athena,
in the most common legend, was born fully grown out of Zeusís head after

Hephaestus split it open with an ax. Another legend, this one form Crete, says

Athena was hidden in a cloud. Zeus hit his head on the cloud and caused Athena
to appear (Daly-20). Out of all the cities that Athena helped and protected

Athens claimed her as there own. The Atheans believed that the first king of

Athens, Erichthonius, was a descendant of Athena (Daly-20). Even though Poseidon
was greedy of earthy kingdoms, he challenged Athena for the city. The both of
them appeared before the court of gods and goddess to make a judgment. Poseidon
presented water to be of use to the Atheans. But the water was salty. Athena
presented the olive tree which gave fruit, oil and wood. The court judged that
this was a more beneficial gift and let Athena have the city (Daly-100). To show
their homage, the Atheans, built the Parthenon. The word Parthenon means
virginís place, for Athena was a virgin goddess ("Parthenon"-1). The east
side of the building showed the birth of Athena and the west side showed the
contest with Poseidon ("Athena"-1). Atheans, on the other hand, were not the
only people Athena favored. According to Homer the Greeks were greatly benefited
when Athena came down from the heavens and stopped Achilles of Phthia from
killing Agamemnon. Achilles protested but Athena replied: Down from the skies I
come to check your rage if only you would yield...Stop this fighting,
now...Donít lay hand to sword...I know it is the truth-one day glittering
gifts will lie before you, three times over to pay for all his outrage. Hold
pack now. Obey... (Homer-104) Even though Athena was the patroness of war she
also had compassion for the Greeks. Athena new if Achilles had killed Agamemnon
that would certainly mean defeat for the Greeks. Athena was ruthless,
manipulative, savage, and found delight in Trojan blood ("Athena, daughter of

Zues"-1). Athena also is credited with helping a young man that was on trial
in Athens for killing his mother. This young man was Orestes and his mother

Clytemnestra, both form Argos. Athena having no mother had more compassion for
the male figure than female. She considered the crimes of Clytemnestra (killing
her husband, Agamemnon) more punishable than Orestes crime (Parada-2). Aeschylus
seems to sum it up in Athenaís speech to the court in The Oresteia. "The

Eumenides." ...No mother gave me birth. I honor the male , in all things but
marriage. Yes, with all my heart I am my Fatherís child. I cannot set more
store by the womenís death-she killed her husband, guardian of their
house...(644) With this trial Athena presented a new form of justice, trial by
jury. The jury had voted equally but Athena

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Topics Related to Athena

Ancient Greek religion, Acropolis of Athens, Gigantes, Epic Cycle, Athena, Giants, Parthenon, Hephaestus, Poseidon, Greek mythology, Odyssey, Oresteia

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