Birth of Goddess AthenaGoddess Athena is the daughter of Zeus and Metis. Metis was the beautiful Oceanid who had advised Zeus on how to free his brothers and sisters from his father Cronus. Metis was Zeus first lover. She was a shape-shifter and had tried to evade Zeus many times but Zeus caught her finally.
The couple conceived the goddess Athena. However, during the pregnancy, Gaia prohesied that a second child by Metis would be a son who would ovethrow his father. To risk fulfillment of the prophecy, Zeus swallowed Metis before she could give birth to Athena.
After swallowing Metis, Zeus didn't give a thought to the child by her. But one day as he was walking along the shore of Lake Tritonis, Zeus suddenly suffered a splitting headache. Unable to bear the pain, he called upon Hephaestus or Prometheus, who brought an ax down on his head and splitted his skull. An adult Athena dressed in full armor emergered from his father's head with a shout that echoed throughout the world.
Goddess of WarAthena, the goddess of war, unlike her aggressive half-brother Ares, the god of war, does not like to fight. Though often depicted in full armor with helmet, spear and shield, she enjoys peaceful resolutions of disputes more than battle. She was also merciful. When trialing Orestes for murdering his mother after she had murdered his father, she voted for acquittal.
Though she avoided warfare, however, when forced into battle, she proved nearly invincible. A brilliant strategist, she twice defeated the war god Ares. She was also a major force in the war with the Giants.
The goddess of war and wisdom often rewarded those who demonstrated bravery or ingenuity. For example, she helped Perseus slay Gorgon Medusa. Afterward, she proudly displayed the head of Medusa in the centre of her shield.
Athena also acted as Odysseus's special protector. When Odysseus's finally arrived back home in Ithaca after 20 years, Athena appeared in disguise to meet him. Odysseus then lied about who he was. With a laugh, Athena revealed herself and admitted that they both were shrewd liars.
Athena's SonThe virgin goddess Athena remained chaste despite many suitors. During the Trojan war, however, she experienced a very close call. Athena needed both armor and weapons for the war and had asked Hephaestus to forge some for her. When she visited his shop to check on the progress, Hephaestus attacked her. Poseidon has apparently tricked him telling him that Athena yearned for him to make passionate love to her.
Athena quicky pulled herself away but Hephaestus could not control himself and spilled his seed onto her thigh. Athena was greatly offended and wiped off the god's semen with some wool. When she threw the woll to the ground, it unwittingly fertilised Gaia. Gaia, the earth goddess, was disgusted and refused to take care of the infant. So the goddess Athena took care of the baby herself. The infant, Ericthonius, would grow up to become the first king of Athens to worship Athena.
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