"I begin to sing of Pallas Athene, the glorious goddess, bright-eyed, inventive, unbending of heart, pure virgin, saviour of cities, courageous, Tritogeneia. From his awful head wise Zeus himself bare her arrayed in warlike arms of flashing gold, and awe seized all the gods as they gazed. But Athena sprang quickly from the immortal head and stood before Zeus who holds the aegis, shaking a sharp spear: Great Olympus began to reel horribly at the might of the bright-eyed goddess, and Earth round about cried fearfully, and the sea was moved and tossed with dark waves, while foam burst forth suddenly...." - "The Hymn To Athena", attributed to Homer
For the ancient Greeks, there were few divine beings more important, and more generous, to humanity than the goddess Athena. She was also called "Pallas", "Pallas Athena", and (to the Romans) "Minerva". The daughter of Zeus, Athena was famous as a virgin warrior woman who was born from her father's skull bearing a helmet, shield, and spear. Yet she was far more than simply a warrior goddess. She was at heart the patronage of civilization, and all of the arts that made advanced human society possible. She was the mistress of weaving, navigation, craftsmanship, and she gave her patronage to defensive wars, wise laws, and the "city" itself. Since the city-state, known as a "Polis" by the Greeks, was the center of Ancient Greek life, law, and politics, this made her all the more important as a deity, especially since she lent her name to one of the most famous of them all: Athens.
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