THE BIRTH OF ATHENA

Zeus came
to lust after Metis,
and chased her in his direct way. Metistried
to escape, going so far as to change her form many times; she changed into
various creatures such
as hawks, fish, and serpents. However, Zeus was
both determined and equally proficient at changing form. He continued his
pursuit until she relented.
An oracle
of Gaea then
prophesied that Metis
first child would be a girl and that her second child would be a boy that would
overthrow Zeus,
similarly to what had happened to his father and grandfather. Zeus took
this warning to heart. When he next saw Metis,
he initially flattered her and put her at her ease. Then, with Metis
guards down, Zeus opened
his mouth and swallowed her and her unborn child. This was the end of Metis,
but also the beginning of Zeus
wisdom.
After a
time, Zeus developed
an unbearable headache, which made him scream out of pain so loudly it could be
heard throughout the earth. The other gods came
to see what the problem was. Hermes realized
what needed to be done and directed Hephaestus to
take a wedge and split open Zeus‘s
skull. Out of the skull sprang Athena,
fully grown and in a full set of armour. Due to the way of her birth, she
became the goddess of intelligence and wisdom.

Source: Greek Mythology
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