Athena the greek goddess. By: Haley McMurray. The birth of Athena. The birth of the Greek goddess Athena was more than unusual, it was truly amazing!
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The birth of the Greek goddess Athena was more than unusual, it was truly amazing!
It was the headache to end all headaches! Zeus, the mighty king of the Olympian deities, regretted having swallowed his first wife, Metis. When Zeus had learned that she was pregnant, he feared that she was carrying the son that had been prophesied to supplant him on the throne.
Though swallowing Metis had seemed a good idea at the time, it was now causing him great suffering which eventually proved to be totally unnecessary.
Ready to risk anything to get rid of the pain that tormented him, he allowed one of the other gods to split open his head, and . . . Voila! Out came, not the son he feared, but a beautiful full-grown daughter, dressed in golden battle armor, who instantly became the "apple of her father's eye".
The most notable exception was her childhood friend, a girl called Pallas. The two, both tomboyish, were inseparable as children, practicing their fighting skills and sharing playful adventures. Once during a practice session, according to Greek mythology Athena accidentally wounded Pallas. The injury eventually proved fatal. In deep grief over the loss of her friend, Athena took Pallas' name to add to hers. Thereafter she was often referred to as Pallas Athena, in honor of her childhood friend.
Logical by nature, the goddess Athena rarely lost her cool. One exception where she became "hot-headed" and again sided with the male power structure, is told in the story of Arachne, a young mortal woman who challenged Athena to a contest to see who was the best weaver. The goddess Athena was not at all upset about being challenged by a mortal and fairly judged Arachne's creation to be as flawless as her own. But the subject matter of Arachne's tapestry offended her greatly for Arachne had depicted the amorous and adulterous adventures of Zeus, Athena's father. Livid that Arachne would dare to mock authority in such a way, Athena slashed the tapestry to shreds and drove Arachne to hang herself. When she had quieted her emotions, Athena took pity on the poor woman and let her live on by transforming her into a spider, weaving her beautiful webs for eternity.