intelligent activity, arts and literature. She was the daughter of Zeus;
her birth is unique in that she did not have a mother.
Instead, she sprang full
grown and clad in armour from Zeus’
brave in battle; however, she only took part in wars that defended the state
and home from outside enemies. She was the patron of the city, handcraft, and
agriculture. She invented the bridle, which permitted man to tame horses, the
trumpet, the flute, the pot, the rake, the plow, the yoke, the ship, and the
chariot. She was the embodiment of wisdom, reason, and purity. She was Zeus’
favourite child and was allowed to use his weapons including his thunderbolt.
Her holy tree was the olive tree and she was often symbolised as an owl.
goddess of Athens after winning a contest
against Posidion by offering the olive
tree to the Athenians. It is evident that Athena and Athens derive from the same
root; Athens (or Athenae) is in plural
form, because it represents the sisterhood of the goddess that existed there.
Similarly, Athena was called Mykene in the
city of Mycenae (also a plural after the respective sisterhood), and Thebe in
the city of Thebes (or Thebae, both plural