All Definitions (3) Articles (3) Images (15)
Metope from the east side of the temple of Zeus, Olympia. Here Hercules holds the Earth on his shoulders with the aid of Athena, on the right Atlas gives the Apples of the Hesperides. (470-460 BCE) Olympia Archaeological Museum.
This Attic vase shows Hercules wrestling the Nemean Lion in one of his 12 labours. Late 6th, early 5th century BCE. Athena looks on from the right.(Archaeological Museum, Milan).
The Greek poet Hesiod (c. 700 BCE) is most famous for his works Theogony and Works and Days. In this passage from Theogony, Hesiod relates the birth of the gods from cosmic Chaos and follows the lineage through the great Zeus, King of the Olympian gods, worshipped by Hesiod’s contemporaries: (ll. 1-25) From the Heliconian Muses let us begin... [continue reading]
Silver stater from Leucas, 330-250 BCE. O: Pegasus. R: Head of Athena.
Minerva was the Roman goddess of wisdom, medicine, commerce, handicrafts, poetry, the arts in general, and later, war. In many ways similar to the Greek goddess Athena, she had important temples in Rome and was patron of the Quinquatras festival. Originally, Minerva was an Italian goddess of handicrafts closely associated to the Greek goddess Athena... [continue reading]
The magnificent temple on the Acropolis of Athens, known as the Parthenon, was built between 447 and 432 BCE in the Age of Pericles, and it was dedicated to the city’s patron deity Athena. The temple was constructed to house the new cult statue of the goddess by Pheidias and to proclaim to the world the success of Athens as leader of the coalition... [continue reading]
Also known as the Theseum because of its decorative sculpture depicting the feats of Theseus, the Doric temple, built in 449 BCE, is situated in the agora of Athens. Hephaistos and Athena, as gods of crafts were worshipped here and within were bronze statues of the divinities.
published on 25 October 2012
A view from Filoppappos Hill of the Parthenon in Athens (447-432 BCE) built to house the giant statue of the goddess Athena, patron of the city.
published on 18 January 2012
The Temple of Athena Nike is the smallest structure on the Athenian Acropolis, but holds no less importance than its neighboring shrines. Built to honor Athena Nike, the goddess of victory, the site upon which the temple was constructed has ceremonial roots that date back to the Bronze Age. When the newer, Classical temple was built in the fifth century... [continue reading]
Much like the Vestal Virgins of Rome, the priestesses of Greek religion enjoyed a great many perks that other Greek women did not. In exchange for the commitment to their religious and civic responsibilities, they were often paid, given property, and most importantly, they were respected for their contributions to society – despite being female. The priestesses... [continue reading]
Goddess of wisdom, war and the crafts, and favourite daughter of Zeus, Athena was, perhaps, the wisest, most courageous, and certainly the most resourceful of the Olympian gods. Zeus was told that his son would take his throne from him, just as he had taken power from his father Cronus. Accordingly, when Metis was pregnant, he swallowed her and Athena... [continue reading]