Study Guide

Athena (Minerva)

  • Profile

    If you get a chance, you really ought to hang out with Athena while you're on Mount Olympus. Being the goddess of wisdom, she definitely has a lot of smart things to say. Everybody respects Athena. All the famous heroes – Heracles, Jason, Odysseus, etc. – look to her for guidance. So, if you're smart, you'll take a sec to have a convo with the goddess of wisdom.

    Basic Information

    Name

    Athena

    Nickname

    Minerva (Roman name), Pallas Athena, Athene

    Sex

    Female

    Current city

    Mount Olympus, though Athens is a second home.

    Work & Education

    Occupation

    Goddess of Wisdom
    Goddess of War (Strategy and Defense)
    Goddess of Justice
    Supporter of Heroic Endeavors
    Goddess of Weaving, Crafts, and Skill

    Education

    I am education.

    Beliefs

    Political views

    I am loyal to my father, Zeus.

    Family & Friends (& Enemies)

    Parents

    Zeus (and perhaps Metis, depending on how one judges such things)

    Siblings

    My father has many children: Apollo, Artemis, Ares, Dionysus, Hebe, Hermes, the Muses, Pan, Persephone, and more.

    Children

    I'm too wise to do anything so foolish as to procreate. I did, however, adopt a son named Erichthonius.

    Friends

    Odysseus
    Jason
    Perseus
    Heracles
    Nike

    Enemies

    The Trojans
    The Titans
    Medusa
    Arachne

    Relationships

    Relationship status

    Single, and I'm staying that way.

    Interested in

    Nobody.

    Favorites

    TV Shows

    PBS
    Band of Brothers
    Generation Kill
    Frasier
    How It's Made
    Ingenious Minds

    Quotations

    "Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something."
    – Plato

    "Wisdom is not a product of schooling but of the lifelong attempt to acquire it."
    – Albert Einstein

    "The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance, it is the illusion of knowledge."
    – Stephen Hawking

    Books

    War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
    The Art of War by Sun Tzu
    Ulysses by James Joyce
    The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (I simply adore Minerva McGonagall; she is a worthy namesake.)
    All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque
    The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
    Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
    The Portrait of Lady by Henry James
    Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
    Julius Caesar by Shakespeare
    Henry V by Shakespeare
    Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
    Because I could not stop for Death by Emily Dickinson
    Daddy by Sylvia Plath
    Dulce et Decorum Est by Wilfred Own
    The Charge of the Light Brigade by Alfred Lord Tennyson

    Music

    Philip Glass
    Schumann
    Mozart
    Chopin
    Joshua Bell
    Yo-Yo Ma

    Movies

    The English Patient
    Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    Henry V
    Saving Private Ryan
    Black Hawk Down
    The Hurt Locker
    The War

    Activities & Interests

    Likes

    Owls
    Olive trees (I created the olive tree)
    Snakes
    My aegis (which has Medusa's head on it)
    Battle gear, especially helmets, shields, and spears

    Interests

    Weaving, at which I am quite proficient
    Military strategy

    Groups

    Gods of Olympus
    I judge you when you use poor grammar.
    Athens, Greece

    • Spotter's Guide

      You really can't miss Athena. She's always wearing gleaming golden armor, with a giant crest jutting from her helmet. A lot of times, she carries a shield with Medusa's snake-haired head plastered on it. (Yeah, she can be a little morbid at times.)

      Physical Description

      Sex: Female
      Age: 20s
      Build: Muscular
      Complexion: Pale
      Hair color: Light brown
      Facial hair: None
      Scars/marks/tattoos: None
      Jewelry and accessories: Medusa's head mounted on armor around her shoulders
      Clothing: Toga, or other flowing clothing
      Armor: Plumed helmet, breastplate, and shield
      Type of weapon: Spear

      Typical Companions

      • Soldiers
      • Groups of young women
      • Owls

      Other Notes

      Known hangouts: Athena is often found on the battlefield, emerging from Zeus' skull, or even floating in the air. She's known to frequent Athens, Greece, and is sometimes seen near olive trees.

    • Sightings

      Dec 20, 0799 - Dec 20, 0599

      The Odyssey

      The ancient Greek writer Homer included many of the gods of Olympus in The Odyssey, the story of the hero Odysseus. Athena is the main god in the poem because she's taken a special liking to the clever Odysseus and helps him on his twenty-year journey home.

      Dec 20, 0799 - Dec 20, 0599

      The Iliad

      Homer brings the gods into The Iliad as well, which tells the story of the mythic Trojan War. Most of the gods of Olympus take sides in the human war: Hera, Athena, and Poseidon are rooting for the Greeks, while Aphrodite, Ares, and Apollo are fighting for the Trojans.

      Dec 20, 2019

      The Metamorphoses

      The Roman poet Ovid collected all kinds of wild stories about the gods in The Metamorphoses. Here you'll find myths about Minerva (a.k.a. Athena), including the story of her friendship with Perseus. Be sure to check out Book 2, Book 4, and Book 5.

      Jan 1, 1970

      "The Raven"

      In Edgar Allan Poe's famously creepy poem, the raven perches on top of a sculpture of Athena. What does that mean? Find out here.

      Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series

      Percy Jackson has run-ins with all of the gods of Olympus, including Athena. In the first book, The Lightning Thief, we meet Athena and her awesome mortal daughter Annabeth.

      God of War I, II, and III

      The Greek gods make it onto the PlayStation in the God of War video game trilogy. In this game, Athena starts out in her usual role: assisting and advising a brave mortal hero. This mortal hero, Kratos, butts heads with the gods of Olympus and ends up killing all of them but Aphrodite. Athena dies trying to protect Zeus.