Importance of the Goddess Athena (Minerva)

The Goddess Athena of Greek mythology , known as Minerva among the Romans, is the divinity that symbolizes intelligence and military strategy. On the other hand, Athena is the protector of the manual arts, science and justice. His figure was venerated in most towns in the ancient world.

The Birth of the Goddess

At Olympus of the Gods Athena is the daughter of Zeus (father of the Gods and of men) and of his first wife Metis, a divinity associated with cunning and foresight. As is known, an oracle announced to the god Zeus that his son would dethrone him and for this reason he made the decision to eat his wife who was pregnant.

After a while, Zeus began to have severe headaches and asked the God Hephaestus to open his head with his ax because he could not bear the pain. Hephaestus opened his head, and from the wound he suffered, the Goddess Athena was born, fully adult, dressed and looking like a warrior woman.

Some of the episodes starring Athena have become icons of art history

According to some mythological accounts, Hephaestus tried to rape Athena, but she resisted and the semen of the God fell to the Earth and Erictonio was born from there, who was treated by her as if she were her stepson. It is also said that the winged giant Palante tried to rape her but the Goddess managed to kill him and ripped his skin to protect himself. One day Tiresias surprised Athena bathing naked in a lake and as punishment she made him go blind, but repented of his action allowed him to hear the birds singing.

The Gods Poseidon and Athena had a strong dispute regarding the city of Athens (Poseidon nailed his trident to the Earth and salty water appeared and Athena offered the Athenians the olive tree, with which one could obtain oil and wood and for this motive became the protector of Athens). Athena also helped Ulysses, as she appeared to him in dreams to help him return to his home and to marry his beloved Penelope. All these stories and many others are collected in the history of western art .

The image of the Goddess was presiding over the interior of the Parthenon in Athens and her image can be found in the painting of the Spinners by Velázquez or in the painting by the Italian Paris Bordone Athena despising Hephaestus.

In western culture

It is not necessary to think that its adoration is something of the past, because today feminist movements continue to look at the Goddess Athena as a reference. On the other hand, it is a mythological character that symbolizes the woman with successful work, competitive and fighter.

In many parts of the world there are athenaeums, centers dedicated to culture and that have this name because they are inspired by the intelligence and prudence of the Goddess Athena.


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