Classical Greek Mythology

The Greek Pantheon and the Olympians

What was Athene’s role?

Perhaps the greatest of the goddesses was Athene, who, born of Zeus’s head, was associated with intellect and wisdom. Her sign was the owl—the wisest of birds. Athene helped heroes such as Jason, Herakles, and Perseus. Although a virgin goddess, she had “crushes,” as is most evident in her relationship with Odysseus in the Odyssey. Athene was chosen as the patron deity of the city-state of Athens over her uncle and constant rival, Poseidon, because she offered the Athenians the olive tree whereas Poseidon gave them only a salty spring. The Parthenon was built in her honor.


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