Athena

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Who was Minerva? The Roman goddess Minerva

By |2018-06-01T16:17:54+00:00September 4th, 2017|Religion, Romans|

The goddess Minerva: A Roman temple from the forum in Ostia, near Rome. It was probably dedicated to Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva. Is the goddess Minerva the same as Athena? Minerva was Jupiter's daughter for the Romans, the way Athena was Zeus's daughter for the Greeks. (More about the goddess Athena) But the goddess Minerva was not exactly [...]

Who is Poseidon? Greek gods

By |2018-09-17T09:02:48+00:00July 16th, 2017|Greeks, Religion|

The god Poseidon rules the ocean Ocean god Poseidon The Greeks thought of the god Poseidon as a god of violent, unpredictable movement. He is most often the god of the ocean, which is of course the biggest, most unpredictable, and most dangerous thing around. Many Greeks spent a lot of time sailing on the ocean, and they paid [...]

Trojan Horse Story – Greek mythology

By |2017-12-27T12:09:25+00:00July 16th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

Earliest picture of the Trojan Horse story, on a  Greek vase ca. 670 BC The end of the Trojan War After the events of the Iliad and the death of Hector, the Trojan War still wasn't over. Neither the Greeks nor the Trojans seemed to be able to win, until one of the Greek kings, Odysseus of [...]

Perseus and Medusa – Greek mythology

By |2018-04-23T11:45:11+00:00July 16th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

Perseus and Medusa: Danae and Perseus adrift in their box Once there was a good king, but he died. His bad brother killed him so that he could be king. The bad brother needed to get rid of the good king's wife (Danae) and baby (Perseus), but he was afraid to kill them too. [...]

Judgment of Paris – Trojan War

By |2018-04-23T13:41:07+00:00July 16th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

Judgment of Paris -Paris is on the right (A fresco from Pompeii, ca. 79 AD) Who is the most beautiful? Once upon a time, around 1250 BC, toward the end of the Bronze Age in Greece, three goddesses were having an argument (said the Greeks). The goddesses Aphrodite, Athena, and Hera were arguing about which one of them was the most beautiful. [...]

Garden of Hesperides – Labors of Herakles

By |2018-04-23T10:07:40+00:00July 15th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

Herakles (on the left) frees Prometheus (now in the Louvre) For another of his labors, Herakles had to go bring back three golden apples from the tree of the Hesperides. The Hesperides were the spirits of the evening. The golden apples were a gift from Gaia, the Earth mother, to her daughter Hera, who hated Herakles. On his way to [...]

Augean Stables – Labors of Herakles

By |2018-04-23T10:07:40+00:00July 14th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

Herakles cleaning the Augean Stables (Metope from Olympia, ca. 460 BC) For one of the Labors of Herakles, Herakles had to clean out the horse stables of King Augeus, which hadn't been cleaned in years and were all full of horse poop. It seemed like it would take forever. But Herakles isn't a superhero for [...]

Cassandra and the fall of Troy

By |2018-04-23T10:13:17+00:00July 14th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

The Cassandra myth: Ajax the Lesser drags Cassandra away from the statue of Athena Apollo curses Cassandra Cassandra was a priestess of Apollo in Troy before the Trojan War. She was very beautiful, and Apollo saw her and fell in love with her.  He offered her the gift of prophecy (being able to see  what [...]

Arachne and Athena – the Arachne story in Greek mythology

By |2018-10-02T09:32:08+00:00July 14th, 2017|Greeks, Literature|

The Arachne story: Greek women weaving at a warp-weighted loom - Athens, 500s BC Who was Arachne? Arachne was a girl who lived in Greece a long long time ago (in the story; this is a story). She was a very good weaver and spinner. Who invented weaving?  Why did women spin? Arachne wove all sorts of beautiful pictures into her cloth, and people [...]

Who is Athena? Ancient Greek gods

By |2018-04-23T08:41:51+00:00July 12th, 2017|Greeks, Religion|

Birth of Athena Athena is one of the younger Greek goddesses; she is Zeus's daughter. Her mother was Metis (Wisdom). The story is that Zeus swallowed Metis, already pregnant with Athena, and then Athena was born, fully grown and armed, out of the head of Zeus. One day Zeus complained that he had [...]