"Pallas Athene" by Parmigianino

Meaning: N/A
Gender: Female
Pronunciation: uh-THEEN-uh
Origin: Greek
Other forms of the name: Athene

The name Athena could possibly derive from the Greek ather meaning “sharp” and aine which means “praise”. Athena was the Greek Goddess of wisdom, courage, civilization, warfare, strength, arts, crafts, justice, and heroic endeavor, along with a few other things. Minerva is the Roman equivalent of the Goddess Athena.
Athena is the virgin patron of the City Athens in Greece, which was named after her. Her warfare is of the strategic kind and she does not like to fight unless she must; She is very different from her brother Ares, who is ruthless and blinded by fury.

One legend tells that all the Gods and Goddesses including many mortals were invited to the wedding of Peleus and Thetis, the parents of Achilles, all except for Eris, the Goddess of Discord. Least to say she was not happy about this. So she brought a golden apple with the words “for the fairest one” inscribed on it, she threw it to the Goddesses. Of course Aphrodite, Hera, and Athena all thought they were the fairest and should have the apple. They went to Zeus but he did not wish to take a side, so he put the matter in the hands of Paris, a Trojan Prince.
After bathing the Goddesses appear nude in front of Paris who could not decide who was the most beautiful. So then they decided to bribe him.

Hera promised Paris control over all of Europe and Asia, Athena promised wisdom, fame, and glory in battle, Aphrodite promised that if he were to choose her as the fairest she would give him the most beautiful mortal woman in the world as his wife, which was Helen of Troy who was already married to King Menelaus of Sparta. Of course Athena and Hera were not happy. Paris’ abduction of Helen was what brought about the Trojan war. Athena is supposedly androgynous in looks though I’ve only ever seen her portrayed as distinctly feminine. The birth of Athena is a strange one, some say her mother was Metis, but others say she had no mother. One legend states that Zeus wanted to make a world from a word and she was his first thought.

 Another said after lying with Metis, the Goddess of crafty thought and wisdom, he was worried about what offspring the match would develop as it had been said that her children were more powerful than the sires, even Zeus himself! So Zeus swallowed Metis but it was too late, she had already conceived Athena. Zeus then developed a horrible headache and had another God, it depends on who is telling the story, cut open his head with a Minoan axe. Athena then sprang forth from his head, a fully grown and armored adult.
Last year Athena ranked at #360 in the US, the first time it ranked was in 1955.

Advertisements