The birth of the Greek goddess Athena was more than unusual, it was truly amazing! It was the headache to end all headaches! Zeus, the mighty king of the Olympian deities, regretted having swallowed his first wife, Metis. When Zeus had learned that she was pregnant, he feared that she was carrying the son that had been prophesied to supplant him on the throne. Though swallowing Metis had seemed a good idea at the time, it was now causing him great suffering which eventually proved to be totally unnecessary. |||
Ready to risk anything to get rid of the pain that tormented him, he allowed one of the other gods to split open his head, and . . . Voila! Out came, not the son he feared, but a beautiful full-grown daughter, dressed in golden battle armor, who instantly became the "apple of her father's eye". A motherless child, the goddess Athena quickly became his favorite. Athena was the only one of his children that Zeus ever entrusted with his magic shield and the secret of where his lightening bolts were stored. The goddess Athena remained his constant ally and fierce protector, promoting his interests, serving as his advisor.|||
The Greek goddess Athena championed many heroes, offering them her advice and protection, helping them to win their battles. In one of her most famous adventures Athena would assume the shape of various men, women, and children to guide the wandering Odysseus. Her protection allowed the suffering hero to finally return safely to his home and family.Nike, the goddess who personified Winged Victory, often accompanied the goddess Athena. Not surprising, since "Athena, Goddess of War" never lost a battle.
Logical by nature, the goddess Athena rarely lost her cool. One exception where she became "hot-headed" and again sided with the male power structure, is told in the story of Arachne, a young mortal woman who challenged Athena to a contest to see who was the best weaver. The goddess Athena was not at all upset about being...