Athena

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In Greek religion and mythology, Athena also referred to as Pallas Athena is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, just warfare, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill. The story of her birth comes in several versions. In the one most commonly cited, Zeus lay with Metis, the goddess of crafty thought and wisdom, but he immediately feared the consequences. It had been prophesied that Metis would bear children more powerful than the sire, even Zeus himself. In order to forestall these dire consequences, after lying with Metis, Zeus "put her away inside his own belly;" he "swallowed her down all of a sudden." He was too late: Metis had already conceived. Eventually Zeus experienced an enormous headache; Prometheus, Hephaestus, Hermes, Ares cleaved Zeus's head with the double-headed Minoan axe Athena leaped from Zeus's head, fully grown and armed, with a shout— “and pealed to the broad sky her clarion cry of war. And Ouranos trembled to hear, and Mother Gaia..." Athena is also a shrewd companion of heroes including Odysseus, Jason, and Heracles and is the goddess of heroic endeavour. She is the virgin patron of Athens. The Athenians founded the Parthenon on the Acropolis of her namesake city, Athens (Athena Parthenos), in her honour. she never consorts with a lover, nor does she ever marry earning the title Athena Parthenos. A remnant of archaic myth depicts her as the adoptive mother of Erechtheus/Erichthonius through the foiled rape by Hephaestus. Other variants relate that Erichthonius, the serpent that accompanied Athena, was born to Gaia: when the rape failed, the semen landed on Gaia and impregnated her. After Erechthonius was born, Gaia gave him to Athena. Though Athena is a goddess of war strategy, she disliked fighting without purpose and preferred to use wisdom to settle predicaments. The goddess only encouraged fighting for a reasonable cause or to resolve conflict. As patron of Athens she...
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