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Facts about Athena

Tales beyond belief

Mythical Facts about Athena for kids
Discover interesting information and fun facts about Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom who lived with the other gods on Mount Olympus.

  • Fact 1: She was the goddess of wisdom, was the daughter of Zeus

  • Fact 2: According to myth she sprang forth from his brain full grown and clad in complete armor

  • Fact 3: She was one of the 12 Olympian gods who resided on the summit of Mount Olympus

  • Fact 4: She presided over agriculture and navigation, and the work of women such as spinning, weaving, and needle-work.

  • Fact 5: She was also a warlike goddess, and had a controlled strategic approach that brought her success in conflicts.

  • Fact 6: Athens was her chosen seat and her own city. Athens was awarded to her during the reign of Cecrops, the first king of Athens, as the prize of a contest with Poseidon, who also aspired to it.

  • Fact 7: In the contest the gods decreed that Athens should be awarded to that one who produced the gift most useful to mortals. Poseidon gave the horse and Athena produced the olive. The gods gave judgment that the olive was the more useful of the two gifts, and awarded the city to the goddess which was named after her.

  • Fact 8: She used her powers to transform Odysseus into a handsome figure in the same way that someone who had been taught by Hephaestus would work with gold or silver

  • Fact 9: The myth about the Apple of Discord tells of a golden apple that was thrown into a banquet of the gods by Eris, the goddess of discord, who had not been invited to the feast. The the apple had "for the fairest" written on it and the goddesses Hera, Athena and Aphrodite all claimed it. Paris, the Prince of Troy, awarded it to Aphrodite beginning a chain of events that led to the Trojan War.

  • Fact 10: The god Ares assisted the armies of Troy in the Trojan War against the Greeks, but was wounded in an encounter with the hero Diomedes and the goddess Athena

  • Fact 11: Poseidon, the god of the sea, ravished Medusa, a beautiful priestess in a temple to the goddess Athena. Medusa was then changed into the monstrous mythical creature called a Gorgon by Athena.

  • Fact 12: She gave the hero Perseus a mirror-like shield to help in his quests. Perseus went on to slay the terrifying gorgon and gave the head of Medusa to the goddess.

  • Fact 13: Hephaestus had fallen in love with Athena but she rejected him with the utmost contempt because of his ugly appearance.

  • Fact 14: Athena was the goddess of spinning and weaving; and she herself could weave the most beautiful cloths of many colors. She made an immortal dress for Hera, the Queen of the gods. She wove then polished this dress for her embellishing it with the finest embroidery.

  • Fact 15: During the War of the gods against the Titans she crushed Enceladus, one of the Gigantes (giants), who was later buried beneath Mount Etna

  • Fact 16: During the Trojan War the Greeks told the inhabitants of Troy that they had built the Wooden Horse as a sacred offering to Athena

  • Fact 17: The goddess featured in the last labor of Hercules which was the most terrible one. Hercules was sent to the Underworld, the realm of Hades, to get the three-headed dog Cerberus. The journey was so difficult that Hermes and Athena were obliged to go with him and guard him on the way.

  • Fact 18: In the myth of Cadmus the goddess advised him that he must take out the teeth of a terrible dragon and sow them in the ground. After completing this task he would soon have men enough to help him build his city.

  • Fact 19: She invented the plow, bridle, rake, ox yoke, chariot and the flute

  • Fact 20: She used wisdom and cunning to help her in her battles and was more successful than Ares, the god of War.

  • Fact 21: She taught Greek women how to spin and embroider. One of the women, Arachne boasted that her skills exceeded those of the goddess and was turned into a spider.

Gods and Deities
Greek Gods and Goddesses
Athena

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