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Athena Owl Navigation menu VideoPhilosophy15 Episode 5: The Owl of Minerva Problem
Poseidon thought he had won the contest and rights to the city, but the people immediately rose up from the stream and started spitting out the water.
It was salt water! They could not drink it and they were not happy. The only thing she had was the branch of the tree the owl had given her. She reached out her arms and presented the people with the branch.
It was the branch of an olive tree. She placed it on the ground and from it a full olive tree grew. The people were delighted. They had olives to eat, oil for their lamps and cooking, and wood for their boats and houses.
King Cecrops declared Athena the winner and in her honor the city was named Athens. For instance, many ancient Greek amphorae tall jars with two handles and a narrow neck have been found decorated with both roosters and Athena.
She has also been depicted carrying a staff or spear around which a snake winds. Share Flipboard Email. Ancient History and Latin Expert.
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Login Sign Up. Making Creativity Easy. Another possible meaning may be "triple-born" or "third-born", which may refer to a triad or to her status as the third daughter of Zeus or the fact she was born from Metis, Zeus, and herself; various legends list her as being the first child after Artemis and Apollo, though other legends identify her as Zeus' first child.
Triton's mother, Amphitrite. Yet another possible meaning is mentioned in Diogenes Laertius ' biography of Democritus , that Athena was called "Tritogeneia" because three things, on which all mortal life depends, come from her.
She was the daughter of Zeus, produced without a mother, so that she emerged full-grown from his forehead.
There was an alternative story that Zeus swallowed Metis, the goddess of counsel, while she was pregnant with Athena, so that Athena finally emerged from Zeus.
Being the favourite child of Zeus, she had great power. In the classical Olympian pantheon, Athena was regarded as the favorite daughter of Zeus, born fully armed from his forehead.
Athena was probably a pre-Hellenic goddess and was later taken over by the Greeks. In the version recounted by Hesiod in his Theogony , Zeus married the goddess Metis , who is described as the "wisest among gods and mortal men", and engaged in sexual intercourse with her.
After swallowing Metis, Zeus took six more wives in succession until he married his seventh and present wife, Hera.
Hesiod states that Hera was so annoyed at Zeus for having given birth to a child on his own that she conceived and bore Hephaestus by herself ,  but in Imagines 2.
Fairbanks , the third-century AD Greek rhetorician Philostratus the Elder writes that Hera "rejoices" at Athena's birth "as though Athena were her daughter also.
In one version of the myth, Pallas was the daughter of the sea-god Triton ;  she and Athena were childhood friends, but Athena accidentally killed her during a friendly sparring match.
The palladion was a statue of Athena that was said to have stood in her temple on the Trojan Acropolis. In Homer's Iliad, Athena, as a war goddess, inspired and fought alongside the Greek heroes; her aid was synonymous with military prowess.
Also in the Iliad, Zeus, the chief god, specifically assigned the sphere of war to Ares, the god of war, and Athena. Athena's moral and military superiority to Ares derived in part from the fact that she represented the intellectual and civilized side of war and the virtues of justice and skill, whereas Ares represented mere blood lust.
Her superiority also derived in part from the vastly greater variety and importance of her functions and from the patriotism of Homer's predecessors, Ares being of foreign origin.
In the Iliad, Athena was the divine form of the heroic, martial ideal: she personified excellence in close combat, victory, and glory.
The qualities that led to victory were found on the aegis, or breastplate, that Athena wore when she went to war: fear, strife, defense, and assault.
Athena appears in Homer's Odyssey as the tutelary deity of Odysseus, and myths from later sources portray her similarly as helper of Perseus and Heracles Hercules.
As the guardian of the welfare of kings, Athena became the goddess of good counsel, of prudent restraint and practical insight, as well as of war.
In a founding myth reported by Pseudo-Apollodorus,  Athena competed with Poseidon for the patronage of Athens.
Pseudo-Apollodorus  records an archaic legend, which claims that Hephaestus once attempted to rape Athena, but she pushed him away, causing him to ejaculate on her thigh.
The geographer Pausanias  records that Athena placed the infant Erichthonius into a small chest  cista , which she entrusted to the care of the three daughters of Cecrops : Herse , Pandrosos , and Aglauros of Athens.
Erichthonius was one of the most important founding heroes of Athens  and the legend of the daughters of Cecrops was a cult myth linked to the rituals of the Arrhephoria festival.
Herodotus records that a serpent lived in a crevice on the north side of the summit of the Athenian Acropolis  and that the Athenians left a honey cake for it each month as an offering.
Herse, Aglaulus, and Pandrosus go to the temple to offer sacrifices to Athena. Athena took the other tack: when she saw the writing on the wall, Athena allied herself with the male principle.
She began covering her tracks, destroying all remnants of her past:. Athena and Poseidon vied to be presiding spirit of Athens.
The vote split along gender lines: men voted for Poseidon; women for Athena. There were more women and Athena won. This may be understood in the context of her role as a war goddess: virgins were perceived as fonts of concentrated, suppressed potential energy ready to explode with the energy of an atom bomb.
Sexual relations would dissipate and redirect this esoteric energy.