Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Athena (Gk. Athene, in Homer always Pallas Athene; also called Athenaie and Pallas Athenaie, which makes it probable that the word is adjectival), in Greek mythology the goddess of wisdom, war, and skill in the useful arts, statecraft, agriculture, weaving and needlework. One tradition represents her as springing armed from the brain of Zeus. Herodotus and others regard her as the child of Poseidon and Tritonia. Athens was under her special care, and was the chief seat of her worship. She had the credit of founding the Areopagite Court, and of pleading before it in favour of Orestes. The olive was sacred to her as being one of her most precious gifts to man. Amongst animals the owl, the cock, and the serpent were her chief favourites. She lent the Greeks her powerful aid in the Trojan war. The Panathenaia, her great festivals at Athens, were celebrated yearly on a small scale, and once in each Olympiad with greater splendour. She was a virgin deity, and is usually represented with helmet, shield, spear, and coat-of-mail. The Romans identified her with their Etruscan goddess Minerva, who possessed similar attributes.