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Athena: The Goddess Of War

Olive branch is known as a symbol of peace that is used by various cultures to communicate harmony and reconciliation. It is fascinating that Greeks would choose as the goddess of war someone who is known for her wisdom, kindness, creativity and diplomacy.

Athena: The Goddess of War

Athena was the goddess of battle strategy, and wisdom. Identified in the Roman mythology as the goddess Minerva. She was always accompanied by her owl and the goddess of victory, Nike. Also known as Pallas Athena, she wore a breastplate made out of goatskin called the Aegis, which was given to her by her father, Zeus. She had many names that explain her. Some of her names are helmet head, Athena the wise, and others.

Athena was an armed warrior goddess. The Parthenon at Athens was her most famous shrine. She never had a true lover or someone to hug and hold her; all she had was her loving mother, caring father and most of all her brothers and sisters. For some very strange reason it was hopeless that she would fall in love; Hephaestus tried once, yet failed. Athena was well known for giving advice/mentoring heroes. One example of that is in The Odyssey, where Athena assists Odysseus' son Telemachus in finding his father; another is where she gives Perseus the shield he will need to fight Medusa.

Athena is a Ancient Greek goddess and patron of Athens. She also played a huge role in the life of the women of Sparta and Athens. Athena is the goddess of wisdom and craft, however, known for her relationship with war strategy. Although she is the goddess of war strategy she is not easily angered and it is for that reason that she is one of the more powerful Greek gods/goddesses. Athena is the daughter of Zeus and Metis. Zeus feared that their kids would over power their parents so he ate Metis with the understanding that if she was eaten there would be no kids. He was wrong and Athena was born from the head of Zeus.

There are multiple ways that the ancient societies honor and celebrate these gods and goddesses, for example the Panathenaic games. These games included many events from music and poetry competitions to boxing and wrestling, much like the Olympics today except for the arts. However, the most prestigious of these games was the annual chariot race. . These athletic events took place in the panathenaic stadium, which is still in use today and hosted the modern Olympic games in 1870,1875,1896,1906, and 2004. Throughout the games there are various ceremonies that would honor Athena which were more important than the games themselves. To start the festival off the Athenian women would make a special robe (also known as the peplos) which was put on the statue of Athena, and as the end of the festivities grew near there where large sacrifices made to Athena known as hekatombe (which translates to the sacrifice of a hundred oxen). After the oxen were sacrificed, the meat was used in a giant feast at the end of the games.

The trojan war took place from approximately 1260-1250 BCE. The myth has the war starting over a beauty contest between; Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite. However, some scholars believe that the war was really waged over the trade route that was split threw Greece and the Trojans. The beauty contest started when Eris gave Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite a golden apple also known as the Apple of Discord. Zeus then told the goddesses to take the apple to Paris, the obliged. Once they reached Paris he could not deem one the finest so it turned into a competition of bribery no longer beauty.

After hearing what the goddesses had to offer Paris chose Aphrodite and the most beautiful women in the world. Aphrodite obliged with her proposal and made Helen and Paris fall in love. This works if everyone is single, however, Helen was married to King of Sparta Menelaus. After Helen and Paris had run off to Troy the news was spiralling around Sparta and Greece. Agamemnon king of Mycenae and brother of Menelaus heard the news and was outraged. he then led an army to Troy and held the city of Troy under a 10 year siege. The siege was not getting the desired results So Agamemnon with the help of Athena, and Odysseus and some others made the plan of the Trojan Horse.

The Trojan Horse was a fool proof plan made by army elites with the help of Athena (the goddess of craft, and war strategy) the finished building a massive wooden horse and left it outside the city of Troy to signify the end of the war. When night fell the Greeks pretended to sail home leaving the wooden horse and a sign of victory for Troy. the next day the soldiers of Troy pulled the massive horse inside the impenetrable wall and the celebration started. When night came the entire city of Troy was either sleeping or in a drunken stupor. The Greek soldiers that where hiding in the horse snuck out and opened the gates letting the rest of the Greek army in. Once the army was inside Troy they slaughtered the entire city keeping the women and children for themselves or to be sold as slaves. Helen was also escorted back to her original husband Menelaus.

Athena is a superb role model for girls and women. She was her own person, skilled, brave, and wise. She made her own way in the world, and was not seduced by Aphrodite, the goddess of love. She lived her life as she wanted to live it. People had better lives because of her. She is a symbol of civilized behavior, logic, and compassion mixed with wisdom.

Introduces the Greek goddess Athena and explains her importance; features well-known Greek myths about this goddess; and includes a map of ancient Greece and a family tree of the principal Greek gods. Additional features to aid comprehension include a table of contents, informative sidebars, a list of Greek characters introduced in the text, a list of equivalent Roman gods and goddesses, sources for further research including websites, an index, and an introduction to the author and illustrator.

Out sprang Athena, fully grown, a beautiful young woman in full armor and carrying a spear, announcing her arrival with a loud war cry. The manner of her birth allegorically defines her basic nature. Having arisen from the head of a god, she is wise. Being born from a male and not from a female, she maintains a special bond of affection with her father, protects male heroes, and champions male causes. She is a powerful goddess of war and has remained a virgin.

The story of Arachne and Athena ends with a weaving contest, each desperately trying to better the other. Athena created a tapestry of all the Greek gods on Mount Olympus, woven from the very fabric of the earth as only a goddess could. Threads of clouds and blades of grass made for the most stunning of pieces of work. It represented the gods in all their spectacular power and glory. 041b061a72

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