Identified with insight, warfare, and handicraft, Athena was a mythical Greek goddess who was considered to be the guardian and patron of various towns across Greece, but specifically Athens. Athena is most likely to have obtained her name from this city. Athena was one of the three great virgin goddesses of Olympus, therefore she had no children. Athena had various symbols, such as the Minerva owl.
Athena was one of Zeus’ many children but she was always regarded as his most beloved daughter. According to ancient Greek mythology when Athena’s mother, Metis became pregnant with her, Zeus deceived Metis – making her turn into a fly – and then immediately swallowed her. Zeus did this because of a prophecy that Metis’ unborn son would overthrow him. However, as a consequence Athena was born fully grown from Zeus’ forehead.
Athena was revered as the goddess of the city of Athens and the guardian of the citadel, which was also known as the Acropolis of Athens. Not only was Athena the protector of Athens, but she was also the patron of other cities, including Sparta, Lindos, Gortyn, Larisa, and Argos. Athena was a virgin goddess, which the Athenians valued as the ideal of female behaviour, so she was greatly adored.
Athena was also the goddess of war that inspired and fought beside the Greek heroes. Her aid was equivalent to military skill. In the writings of Ovid, it is said that a talented mortal weaver, Arachne, rivaled Athena’s skill at a weaving competition. Enraged at the girl’s skill and her insulting the gods, Athena turned her into a spider. Till today, Athena is still a worldwide emblem of wisdom and traditional learning