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Athena (Minerva)

Athena is the Greek goddess of wisdom.


Athena is probably the most popular of the ancient goddesses. She is a very powerful, well-rounded role model for women, a capable craftswoman, known best for her brains, who could also hold her own in battle. She was even beautiful enough to be a contender in the famous contest for the apple of discord that launched the Trojan War. Although she pops up in most of the stories of legendary Greek heroes because she helped mortal men in their quests, Athena herself did not have a husband.

Athena was the virgin daughter of Zeus and patron goddess of Athens. [See the Parthenon.] She was goddess of crafts, wisdom, and warfare. Athena helped many of the Greek heroes with advice or other aid. She is described as glaucopis which can be translated as 'grey-eyed", and is associated with the owl. You'll usually see a helmet perched on her head. For her shield, Athena carries the aegis of Medusa, the snaky-haired monster-woman Perseus decapitated with the help of the goddess.

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Imperial period helmeted Athena holding the snake Erichthonios in a cista (basket) from the Louvre.Helmeted AthenaAthena Giustiniani, a Roman copy of a Greek statue of Pallas Athena thought to be by Phidias.Athena GiustinianiAthena on the obverse side of a coin of Attalus I.Athena on Coin ObverseStatue of Athena ParthenosStatue of Athena Parthenos
Velletri Pallas Bust of AthenaVelletri Pallas Bust of AthenaVelletri Pallas or Helmeted AthenaVelletri Pallas
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