Goddess Athena

Goddess of the City, Zeus’s favorite child, patron of the arts and crafts, Ruler of Wisdom and War

Symbols: Owls, Olive trees, Snakes, Aegis, Armor, Helmets, Spears, Gorgoneion

CLASSICAL LITERATURE QUOTES

HYMNS TO ATHENA

THE HOMERIC HYMNS

Homeric Hymn 11 to Athena (trans. Evelyn-White) (Greek epic C7th to 4th B.C.) :
“Of Pallas Athena, guardian of the city, I begin to sing. Dread is she, and with Ares she loves the deeds of war, the sack of cities and the shouting and the battle. It is she who saves the people as they go to war and come back. Hail, goddess, and give us good fortune and happiness!”

Homeric Hymn 39 to Athena :
“I begin to sing of Pallas Athena, 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 Olympos began to reel horribly at the might of the grey-eyed goddess, and earth round about cried fearfully, and the sea was moved and tossed with dark waves, while foam burst forth suddenly: the bright Son of Hyperion [Helios the Sun] stopped his swift-footed horses a long while, until the maiden Pallas Athena had stripped the heavenly armour from her immortal shoulders. And wise Zeus was glad. Hail to you, daughter of Zeus who holds the aigis!”

 THE ORPHIC HYMNS

Orphic Hymn 32 to Athena (trans. Taylor) (Greek hymns C3rd B.C. to 2nd A.D.) :

“Only-begotten, noble race of Zeus, blessed and fierce, who joyest in caves to rove: O warlike Pallas, whose illustrious kind, ineffable, and effable we find : magnanimous and famed, the rocky height, and groves, and shady mountains thee delight: in arms rejoicing, who with furies dire and wild the souls of mortals dost inspire. Gymnastic virgin of terrific mind, dire Gorgon’s bane, unmarried, blessed, kind: mother of arts, impetuous; understood as fury by the bad, but wisdom by the good. Female and male, the arts of war are thine, O much-formed, Drakaina (She-Dragon), inspired divine: over the Phlegraion Gigantes (Phlegraean Giants), roused to ire, thy coursers driving with destructive dire. Tritogeneia, of splendid mien, purger of evils, all-victorious queen. Hear me, O Goddess, when to thee I pray, with supplicating voice both night and day, and in my latest hour give peace and health, propitious times, and necessary wealth, and ever present be thy votaries aid, O much implored, art’s parent, blue-eyed maid.”