Thessalian League Larissa Greek Coin Athena Feminism Apollo Healer God I33946 For SaleItem: i33946
Authentic Ancient Coin of:
Greek city of Larissa under Thessalian League
Bronze 20mm (5.47 grams) Struck in the Thessalian League City
of Larissa circa 196-146 B.C.
Reference: Sear 2237; B.M.C. 7.50,51
Laureate head of Apollo right.
ΘΕΣΣΑ / ΛΩΝ - behind and before Athena Itonia advancing right, brandishing spear and
holding shield; monogram in field to right.
Following the great victory of the Roman general Flamininus over Philip V of Macedon, in 197 B.C., the freedom of the Greeks was proclaimed at Corinth and a number of new autonomous coinages were initiated. Those in the name of the Thessali were struck probably at Larissa. The Thessalian League was a loose confederacy of feudal-like city-states and tribes in the Thessalian valley in Northern Greece and was run by a few aristocratic Thessalian families (Aleuadae and Skopadae). The seat of the Thessalian diet was Larissa.
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Helmeted Athena with the cista and Erichthonius in his serpent form. Roman, first century (Louvre Museum)
In Greek religion and mythology, Athena or Athene, also referred to as Pallas Athena/Athene , is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, just warfare, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill. Minerva is the Roman goddess identified with Athena.
Marble Greek copy signed "Antiokhos", a first century BC variant of
Phidias' fifth-century Athena Promachos that stood on the Acropolis
Athena is also a shrewd companion of heroes and is the goddess of heroic endeavour. She is the virgin patroness of Athens. The Athenians founded the Parthenon on the Acropolis of her namesake city, Athens (Athena Parthenos), in her honour.
Athena's veneration as the patron of Athens seems to have existed from the earliest times, and was so persistent that archaic myths about her were recast to adapt to cultural changes. In her role as a protector of the city (polis), many people throughout the Greek world worshiped Athena as Athena Polias (Ἀθηνᾶ Πολιάς "Athena of the city"). The city of Athens and the goddess Athena essentially bear the same name, "Athenai" meaning "[many] Athenas".Patroness Athenian tetradrachm representing the goddess Athena
Athena as the goddess of philosophy became an aspect of the cult in Classical Greece during the late 5th century B.C. She is the patroness of various crafts, especially of weaving, as Athena Ergane, and was honored as such at festivals such as Chalceia. The metalwork of weapons also fell under her patronage. She led battles (Athena Promachos or the warrior maiden Athena Parthenos) as the disciplined, strategic side of war, in contrast to her brother Ares, the patron of violence, bloodlust and slaughter—"the raw force of war". Athena's wisdom includes the cunning intelligence (metis) of such figures as Odysseus. Not only was this version of Athena the opposite of Ares in combat, it was also the polar opposite of the serene earth goddess version of the deity, Athena Polias.
Athena appears in Greek mythology as the patron and helper of many heroes, including Odysseus, Jason, and Heracles. In Classical Greek myths, she never consorts with a lover, nor does she ever marry,earning the title Athena Parthenos. A remnant of archaic myth depicts her as the adoptive mother of Erechtheus/Erichthonius through the foiled rape by Hephaestus. Other variants relate that Erichthonius, the serpent that accompanied Athena, was born to Gaia: when the rape failed, the semen landed on Gaia and impregnated her. After Erechthonius was born, Gaia gave him to Athena.
Though Athena is a goddess of war strategy, she disliked fighting without purpose and preferred to use wisdom to settle predicaments.The goddess only encouraged fighting for a reasonable cause or to resolve conflict. As patron of Athens she fought in the Trojan war on the side of the Achaeans.Mythology Birth Olympian version After he swallowed her pregnant mother, Metis, Athena is "born" from Zeus' forehead as he grasps the clothing of Eileithyia on the right —black-figured amphora, 550–525 BC, Louvre.
Although Athena appears before Zeus at Knossos —in Linear B, as, "Mistress Athena"—in the Classical Olympian pantheon, Athena was remade as the favorite daughter of Zeus, born fully armed from his forehead. The story of her birth comes in several versions. In the one most commonly cited, Zeus lay with Metis, the goddess of crafty thought and wisdom, but he immediately feared the consequences. It had been prophesied that Metis would bear children more powerful than the sire, even Zeus himself. In order to forestall these dire consequences, after lying with Metis, Zeus "put her away inside his own belly;" he "swallowed her down all of a sudden." He was too late: Metis had already conceived.
Eventually Zeus experienced an enormous headache; Prometheus, Hephaestus, Hermes, Ares, or Palaemon (depending on the sources examined) cleaved Zeus's head with the double-headed Minoan axe, the labrys. Athena leaped from Zeus's head, fully grown and armed, with a shout— "and pealed to the broad sky her clarion cry of war. And Ouranos trembled to hear, and Mother Gaia..." (Pindar, Seventh Olympian Ode). Plato, in the Laws, attributes the cult of Athena to the culture of Crete, introduced, he thought, from Libya during the dawn of Greek culture.
Classical myths thereafter note that Hera was so annoyed at Zeus for having produced a child that she conceived and bore Hephaestus by herself.
Plato, in Cratylus (407B) gave the etymology of her name as signifying "the mind of god", theou noesis. The Christian apologist of the 2nd century Justin Martyr takes issue with those pagans who erect at springs images of Kore, whom he interprets as Athena:
"They said that Athena was the daughter of Zeus not from intercourse, but when the god had in mind the making of a world through a word (logos) his first thought was Athena".Other origin tales
Some origin stories tell of Athena having been born outside of Olympus and raised by the god Triton. Fragments attributed by the Christian Eusebius of Caesarea to the semi-legendary Phoenician historian Sanchuniathon, which Eusebius thought had been written before the Trojan war, make Athena instead the daughter of Cronus, a king of Byblos who visited 'the inhabitable world' and bequeathed Attica to Athena. Sanchuniathon's account would make Athena the sister of Zeus and Hera, not Zeus' daughter.Pallas Athena
The major competing tradition regarding Athena's parentage involves some of her more mysterious epithets: Pallas, as in the ancient-Greek Παλλάς Άθήνη (also Pallantias) and Tritogeneia (also Trito, Tritonis, Tritoneia, Tritogenes). A distant archaic separate entity named Pallas is invoked as Athena's father, sister, foster sister, companion, or opponent in battle. Pallas is often a nymph, a daughter of Triton (a sea god), and a childhood friend of Athena.
In every case, Athena kills Pallas, accidentally, and thereby gains the name for herself. In one telling, they practice the arts of war together until one day they have a falling out. As Pallas is about to strike Athena, Zeus intervenes. With Pallas stunned by a blow from Zeus, Athena takes advantage and kills her. Distraught over what she has done, Athena takes the name Pallas for herself.
When Pallas is Athena's father the events, including her birth, are located near a body of water named Triton or Tritonis. When Pallas is Athena's sister or foster-sister, Athena's father or foster-father is Triton, the son and herald of Poseidon. But Athena may be called the daughter of Poseidon and a nymph named Tritonis, without involving Pallas. Likewise, Pallas may be Athena's father or opponent, without involving Triton. On this topic, Walter Burkert says "she is the Pallas of Athens, Pallas Athenaie, just as Hera of Argos is Here Argeie. For the Athenians, Burkert notes, Athena was simply "the Goddess", hē theós, certainly an ancient title.Athena Parthenos: Virgin Athena
Athena never had a consort or lover and is thus known as Athena Parthenos, "Virgin Athena". Her most famous temple, the Parthenon, on the Acropolis in Athens takes its name from this title. It is not merely an observation of her virginity, but a recognition of her role as enforcer of rules of sexual modesty and ritual mystery. Even beyond recognition, the Athenians allotted the goddess value based on this pureness of virginity as it upheld a rudiment of female behavior in the patriarchal society. Kerenyi's study and theory of Athena accredits her virginal toponym to be a result of the relationship to her father Zeus and a vital, cohesive piece of her character throughout the ages.
This role is expressed in a number of stories about Athena. Marinus of Neapolis reports that when Christians removed the statue of the Goddess from the Parthenon, a beautiful woman appeared in a dream to Proclus, a devotee of Athena, and announced that the "Athenian Lady" wished to dwell with him.Erichthonius
Hephaestus attempted to rape Athena, but she eluded him. His semen fell to the earth and impregnated the soil, and Erichthonius was born from the Earth, Gaia. Athena then raised the baby as a foster mother.
Athena puts the infant Erichthonius into a small box (cista) which she entrusts to the care of three sisters, Herse, Pandrosus, and Aglaulus of Athens. The goddess does not tell them what the box contains, but warns them not to open it until she returns. One or two sisters opens the cista to reveal Erichthonius, in the form (or embrace) of a serpent. The serpent, or insanity induced by the sight, drives Herse and Aglaulus to throw themselves off the Acropolis. Jane Harrison (Prolegomena) finds this to be a simple cautionary tale directed at young girls carrying the cista in the Thesmophoria rituals, to discourage them from opening it outside the proper context.
Another version of the myth of the Athenian maidens is told in Metamorphoses by the Roman poet Ovid (43 BC – 17 AD); in this late variant Hermes falls in love with Herse. Herse, Aglaulus, and Pandrosus go to the temple to offer sacrifices to Athena. Hermes demands help from Aglaulus to seduce Herse. Aglaulus demands money in exchange. Hermes gives her the money the sisters have already offered to Athena. As punishment for Aglaulus's greed, Athena asks the goddess Envy to make Aglaulus jealous of Herse. When Hermes arrives to seduce Herse, Aglaulus stands in his way instead of helping him as she had agreed. He turns her to stone.
With this mythic origin, Erichthonius became the founder-king of Athens, and many beneficial changes to Athenian culture were ascribed to him. During this time, Athena frequently protected him.Medusa and Tiresias
In a late myth, Medusa, unlike her sister Gorgons, came to be viewed by the Greeks of the 5th century as a beautiful mortal that served as priestess in Athena's temple. Poseidon liked Medusa, and decided to rape her in the temple of Athena, refusing to allow her vow of chastity to stand in his way.Upon discovering the desecration of her temple, Athena changed Medusa's form to match that of her sister Gorgons as punishment. Medusa's hair turned into snakes, her lower body was transformed also, and meeting her gaze would turn any living man to stone. In the earliest myths, there is only one Gorgon, but there are two snakes that form a belt around her waist.
In one version of the Tiresias myth, Tiresias stumbled upon Athena bathing, and he was struck blind by her to ensure he would never again see what man was not intended to see. But having lost his eyesight, he was given a special gift—to be able to understand the language of the birds (and thus to foretell the future).Lady of Athens
Athena competed with Poseidon to be the patron deity of Athens, which was yet unnamed, in a version of one founding myth. They agreed that each would give the Athenians one gift and that the Athenians would choose the gift they preferred. Poseidon struck the ground with his trident and a salt water spring sprang up; this gave them a means of trade and water—Athens at its height was a significant sea power, defeating the Persian fleet at the Battle of Salamis—but the water was salty and not very good for drinking.
Athena, however, offered them the first domesticated olive tree. The Athenians (or their king, Cecrops) accepted the olive tree and with it the patronage of Athena, for the olive tree brought wood, oil, and food. Robert Graves was of the opinion that "Poseidon's attempts to take possession of certain cities are political myths" which reflect the conflict between matriarchal and patriarchal religions.
Other sites of cult
Athena also was the patron goddess of several other Greek cities, notably Sparta, where the archaic cult of Athena Alea had its sanctuaries in the surrounding villages of Mantineia and, notably, Tegea. In Sparta itself, the temple of Athena Khalkíoikos (Athena "of the Brazen House", often latinized as Chalcioecus) was the grandest and located on the Spartan acropolis; presumably it had a roof of bronze. The forecourt of the Brazen House was the place where the most solemn religious functions in Sparta took place.
Tegea was an important religious center of ancient Greece, containing the Temple of Athena Alea. The temenos was founded by Aleus, Pausanias was informed. Votive bronzes at the site from the Geometric and Archaic periods take the forms of horses and deer; there are sealstone and fibulae. In the Archaic period the nine villages that underlie Tegea banded together in a synoecism to form one city. Tegea was listed in Homer's Catalogue of Ships as one of the cities that contributed ships and men for the Achaean assault on Troy.Athena and Herakles on an Attic red-figure kylix, 480–470 BC. Counselor
Later myths of the Classical Greeks relate that Athena guided Perseus in his quest to behead Medusa. She instructed Heracles to skin the Nemean Lion by using its own claws to cut through its thick hide. She also helped Heracles to defeat the Stymphalian Birds, and to navigate the underworld so as to capture Cerberus.
In The Odyssey, Odysseus' cunning and shrewd nature quickly won Athena's favour. In the realistic epic mode, however, she largely is confined to aiding him only from afar, as by implanting thoughts in his head during his journey home from Troy. Her guiding actions reinforce her role as the "protectress of heroes" or as mythologian Walter Friedrich Otto dubbed her the "goddess of nearness" due to her mentoring and motherly probing. It is not until he washes up on the shore of an island where Nausicaa is washing her clothes that Athena arrives personally to provide more tangible assistance. She appears in Nausicaa's dreams to ensure that the princess rescues Odysseus and plays a role in his eventual escort to Ithaca.
Athena appears in disguise to Odysseus upon his arrival, initially lying and telling him that Penelope, his wife, has remarried and that he is believed to be dead; but Odysseus lies back to her, employing skillful prevarications to protect himself. Impressed by his resolve and shrewdness, she reveals herself and tells him what he needs to know in order to win back his kingdom. She disguises him as an elderly man or beggar so that he cannot be noticed by the suitors or Penelope, and helps him to defeat the suitors.
She also plays a role in ending the resultant feud against the suitors' relatives. She instructs Laertes to throw his spear and to kill the father of Antinous, Eupeithes.Judgment of Paris Aphrodite is being surveyed by Paris, while Athena (the leftmost figure) and Hera stand nearby. El Juicio de Paris by Enrique Simonet, ca. 1904
All the gods and goddesses as well as various mortals were invited to the marriage of Peleus and Thetis (the eventual parents of Achilles). Only Eris, goddess of discord, was not invited. She was annoyed at this, so she arrived with a golden apple inscribed with the word καλλίστῃ (kallistēi, "for the fairest"), which she threw among the goddesses. Aphrodite, Hera, and Athena all claimed to be the fairest, and thus the rightful owner of the apple.
The goddesses chose to place the matter before Zeus, who, not wanting to favor one of the goddesses, put the choice into the hands of Paris, a Trojan prince. After bathing in the spring of Mount Ida (where Troy was situated), the goddesses appeared before Paris. The goddesses undressed and presented themselves to Paris naked, either at his request or for the sake of winning.Paris is awarding the apple to Aphrodite, while Athena makes a face. Urteil des Paris by Anton Raphael Mengs, ca. 1757
Still, Paris could not decide, as all three were ideally beautiful, so they resorted to bribes. Hera tried to bribe Paris with control over all Asia and Europe, while Athena offered wisdom, fame and glory in battle, but Aphrodite came forth and whispered to Paris that if he were to choose her as the fairest he would have the most beautiful mortal woman in the world as a wife, and he accordingly chose her. This woman was Helen, who was, unfortunately for Paris, already married to King Menelaus of Sparta. The other two goddesses were enraged by this and through Helen's abduction by Paris they brought about the Trojan War.Roman fable of Arachne
The fable of Arachne is a late Roman addition to Classical Greek mythology but does not appear in the myth repertoire of the Attic vase-painters. Arachne's name simply means spider (αράχνη). Arachne was the daughter of a famous dyer in Tyrian purple in Hypaipa of Lydia, and a weaving student of Athena. She became so conceited of her skill as a weaver that she began claiming that her skill was greater than that of Athena herself.
Athena gave Arachne a chance to redeem herself by assuming the form of an old woman and warning Arachne not to offend the deities. Arachne scoffed and wished for a weaving contest, so she could prove her skill.
Athena wove the scene of her victory over Poseidon that had inspired her patronage of Athens. According to Ovid's Latin narrative, Arachne's tapestry featured twenty-one episodes of the infidelity of the deities, including Zeus being unfaithful with Leda, with Europa, and with Danaë. Athena admitted that Arachne's work was flawless, but was outraged at Arachne's offensive choice of subjects that displayed the failings and transgressions of the deities. Finally, losing her temper, Athena destroyed Arachne's tapestry and loom, striking it with her shuttle.
Athena then struck Arachne with her staff, which changed her into a spider. In some versions, the destruction of her loom leads Arachne to hang herself in despair; Athena takes pity on her, and transforms her into a spider. In the aforementioned version, Arachne weaved scenes of joy while Athena weaved scenes of horror.
The fable suggests that the origin of weaving lay in imitation of spiders and that it was considered to have been perfected first in Asia Minor.Cult and attributes
In poetry from Homer, an oral tradition of the eighth or seventh century BC, onward, Athena's most common epithet is glaukopis (γλαυκώπις), which usually is translated as, bright-eyed or with gleaming eyes.The word is a combination of glaukos (γλαύκος, meaning gleaming, silvery, and later, bluish-green or gray) and ops (ώψ, eye, or sometimes, face). It is interesting to note that glaux (γλαύξ, "owl") is from the same root, presumably because of the bird's own distinctive eyes. The bird which sees well in the night is closely associated with the goddess of wisdom: in archaic images, Athena is frequently depicted with an owl named the Glaucus (or "owl of Athena" and later under the Roman Empire, "owl of Minerva") perched on her hand. This pairing evolved in tangent so that even in present day the owl is upheld as a symbol of perspicacity and erudition.
Unsurprisingly, the owl became a sort of Athenian mascot. The olive tree is likewise sacred to her. In earlier times, Athena may well have been a bird goddess, similar to the unknown goddess depicted with owls, wings, and bird talons on the Burney relief, a Mesopotamian terracotta relief of the early second millennium BC.
Other epithets include: Aethyta under which she was worshiped in Megara. The word aithyia (αἴθυια) signifies a diver, and figuratively, a ship, so the name must reference Athena teaching the art of shipbuilding or navigation.In a temple at Phrixa in Elis, which was reportedly built by Clymenus, she was known as Cydonia.
The various Athena subgroups, or cults, all branching from the central goddess herself often proctored various initiation rites of Grecian youth, for example, the passage into citizenship by young men and for women the elevation to the status of citizen wife. Her various cults were portals of a uniform socialization, even beyond mainland Greece.
In the Iliad (4.514), the Homeric Hymns, and in Hesiod's Theogony, Athena is given the curious epithet Tritogeneia. The meaning of this term is unclear. It seems to mean "Triton-born", perhaps indicating that the sea-deity was her parent according to some early myths. In Ovid's Metamorphoses Athena is occasionally referred to as "Tritonia".
Another possible meaning may be triple-born or third-born, which may refer to a triad or to her status as the third daughter of Zeus or the fact she was born from Metis, Zeus, and herself; various legends list her as being the first child after Artemis and Apollo, though other legends identify her as Zeus' first child. The latter would have to be drawn from Classical myths, however, rather than earlier ones.
In her role as judge at Orestes' trial on the murder of his mother, Clytemnestra (which he won), Athena won the epithet Athena Areia.
Other epithets were Ageleia and Itonia.The Parthenon, Temple of Athena Parthenos
Athena was given many other cult titles. She has the epithet Athena Ergane as the patron of craftsmen and artisans. With the epithet Athena Parthenos ("virgin") she was especially worshipped in the festivals of the Panathenaea and Pamboeotia where both militaristic and athletic displays took place.With the epithet Athena Promachos she led in battle (see Promachos). With the epithet Athena Polias ("of the city"), Athena was the protector of not only Athens but also of many other cities, including Argos, Sparta, Gortyn, Lindos, and Larisa.
She was given the epithet Athena Hippeia or Athena Hippia ("horse"), as the inventor of the chariot, and was worshiped under this title at Athens, Tegea and Olympia. As Athena Hippeia she was given an alternative parentage: Poseidon and Polyphe, daughter of Oceanus.In each of these cities her temple frequently was the major temple on the acropolis.Athena often was equated with Aphaea, a local goddess of the island of Aegina, located near Athens, once Aegina was under Athenian's power. The Greek historian Plutarch (46–120 AD) also refers to an instance during the Parthenon's construction of her being called Athena Hygieia ("healer"):A strange accident happened in the course of building, which showed that the goddess was not averse to the work, but was aiding and co-operating to bring it to perfection. One of the artificers, the quickest and the handiest workman among them all, with a slip of his foot fell down from a great height, and lay in a miserable condition, the physicians having no hope of his recovery. When Pericles was in distress about this, the goddess [Athena] appeared to him at night in a dream, and ordered a course of treatment, which he applied, and in a short time and with great ease cured the man. And upon this occasion it was that he set up a brass statue of Athena Hygeia, in the citadel near the altar, which they say was there before. But it was Phidias who wrought the goddess's image in gold, and he has his name inscribed on the pedestal as the workman of it.
In classical times the Plynteria, or “Feast of Adorning”, was observed every May, it was a festival lasting five days. During this period the Priestesses of Athena, or “Plyntrides”, performed a cleansing ritual within “the Erecththeum”, the personal sanctuary of the goddess. Here Athena's statue was undressed, her clothes washed, and body purified.
In Arcadia, she was assimilated with the ancient goddess Alea and worshiped as Athena Alea.In Classical art The Athena Giustiniani, a Roman copy of a Greek statue of Pallas Athena with her serpent, Erichthonius
Classically, Athena is portrayed wearing a full- length chiton, and sometimes in armor, with her helmet raised high on the forehead to reveal the image of Nike. Her shield bears at its centre the aegis with the head of the gorgon (gorgoneion) in the center and snakes around the edge. It is in this standing posture that she was depicted in Phidias's famous lost gold and ivory statue of her, 36 m tall, the Athena Parthenos in the Parthenon. Athena also often is depicted with an owl sitting on one of her shoulders.
The Mourning Athena is a relief sculpture that dates around 460 BC and portrays a weary Athena resting on a staff. In earlier, archaic portraits of Athena in Black-figure pottery, the goddess retains some of her Minoan-Mycenaean character, such as great bird wings although this is not true of archaic sculpture such as those of Aphaean Athena, where Athena has subsumed an earlier, invisibly numinous—Aphaea—goddess with Cretan connections in her mythos.
Other commonly received and repeated types of Athena in sculpture may be found in this list.
Apart from her attributes, there seems to be a relative consensus in late sculpture from the Classical period, the 5th century onward, as to what Athena looked like. Most noticeable in the face is perhaps the full round strong, masculine chin with a high nose that has a high bridge as a natural extension of the forehead. The eyes typically are somewhat deeply set. The unsmiling lips are usually full, but the mouth is depicted fairly narrow, usually just slightly wider than the nose. The neck is somewhat long. The net result is a serene, serious, somewhat aloof, and very masculine beauty.Name, etymology, and origin
Athena had a special relationship with Athens, as is shown by the etymological connection of the names of the goddess and the city. The citizens of Athens built a statue of Athena as a temple to the goddess, which had piercing eyes, a helmet on her head, attired with an aegis or cuirass, and an extremely long spear. It also had a crystal shield with the head of the Gorgon on it. A large snake accompanied her and she held the goddess of victory in her hand.Bust of Athena in the Glyptothek
Athena is associated with Athens, a plural name because it was the place where she presided over her sisterhood, the Athenai, in earliest times: Mycenae was the city where the Goddess was called Mykene, and Mycenae is named in the plural for the sisterhood of females who tended her there. At Thebes she was called Thebe, and the city again a plural, Thebae (or Thebes, where the "s" is the plural formation). Similarly, at Athens she was called Athena, and the city Athenae (or Athens, again a plural)."Whether her name is attested in Eteocretan or not will have to wait for decipherment of Linear A.
Günther Neumann has suggested that Athena's name is possibly of Lydian origin; it may be a compound word derived in part from Tyrrhenian "ati", meaning mother and the name of the Hurrian goddess "Hannahannah" shortened in various places to "Ana". In Mycenaean Greek, at Knossos a single inscription A-ta-na po-ti-ni-ja /Athana potniya/ appears in the Linear B tablets from the Late Minoan II-era "Room of the Chariot Tablets"; these comprise the earliest Linear B archive anywhere.
Although Athana potniya often is translated Mistress Athena, it literally means "the potnia of At(h)ana", which perhaps, means the Lady of Athens;[Any connection to the city of Athens in the Knossos inscription is uncertain. We also find A-ta-no-dju-wa-ja /Athana diwya/, the final part being the Linear B spelling of what we know from Ancient Greek as Diwia : divine Athena also was a weaver and the deity of crafts (see dyeus).
In his dialogue Cratylus, the Greek philosopher Plato, 428/427 BC – 348/347 BC, gives the etymology of Athena's name, based on the view of the ancient Athenians:That is a graver matter, and there, my friend, the modern interpreters of Homer may, I think, assist in explaining the view of the ancients. For most of these in their explanations of the poet, assert that he meant by Athena "mind" [nous] and "intelligence" [dianoia], and the maker of names appears to have had a singular notion about her; and indeed calls her by a still higher title, "divine intelligence" [Theian noesis], as though he would say: This is she who has the mind better than others. Nor shall we be far wrong in supposing that the author of it wished to identify this Goddess with moral intelligence [en ethei noesin], and therefore gave her the name etheonoe; which, however, either he or his successors have altered into what they thought a nicer form, and called her Athena. —Plato, Cratylus, 407b
Thus for Plato her name was to be derived from Greek Ἀθεονόα, Atheonóa—which the later Greeks rationalised as from the deity's (theos) mind (nous).
Plato noted that the Egyptian citizens of Sais in Egypt worshipped a goddess whose Egyptian name was Neith; and they identified her with Athena. (Timaeus 21e), (Histories 2:170–175).
Some authors believe that, in early times, Athena was either an owl herself or a bird goddess in general: in Book 3 of the Odyssey, she takes the form of a sea-eagle. These authors argue that she dropped her prophylactic owl-mask before she lost her wings. "Athena, by the time she appears in art," Jane Ellen Harrison had remarked, "has completely shed her animal form, has reduced the shapes she once wore of snake and bird to attributes, but occasionally in black-figure vase-paintings she still appears with wings."Some Greek authors have derived natural symbols from the etymological roots of Athena's names to be aether, air, earth, and moon. This was one of the primary developments of scholarly exploration in the ancient world.Post-classical culture A neoclassical variant of Athena Promachos stands in front of the Austrian Parliament Building in Vienna.
A brief summary of Athena's evolution of myriad motifs after her dominance in Greece may be seen as follows: The rise of Christianity in Greece largely ended the worship of Greek deities and polytheism in general, but she resurfaced in the Middle Ages as a defender of sagacity and virtue so that her masculine warrior status was still intact. (She may be found on some family crests of nobility.) During the Renaissance she donned the mantle of patron of the arts and human endeavor and finally although not ultimately, Athena personified the miracles of freedom and republic during the French Revolution. (A statue of the goddess was centered on the Place de la Revolution in Paris.)
For over a century a full-scale replica of the Parthenon has stood in Nashville, Tennessee, which is known as the Athens of the South. In 1990, a gilded 41 feet (12.5 m) tall replica of Phidias' statue of Athena Parthenos was added. The state seal of California features an image of Athena (or Minerva) kneeling next to a brown grizzly bear.
Athena is a natural patron of universities: she is the symbol of the Darmstadt University of Technology, in Germany, and the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil. Her image can be found in the shields of the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters and the Faculty of Sciences of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, where her owl is the symbol of the Faculty of Chemistry. At Bryn Mawr College in Pennsylvania a statue of Athena (a replica of the original bronze one in the arts and archaeology library) resides in the Great Hall. It is traditional at exam time for students to leave offerings to the goddess with a note asking for good luck, or to repent for accidentally breaking any of the college's numerous other traditions. Athena's owl also serves as the mascot of the college, and one of the college hymns is "Pallas Athena". Pallas Athena is the tutelary goddess of the international social fraternity Phi Delta Theta. Her owl is also a symbol of the fraternity.
The title character in Edgar Allan Poe's The Raven famously sits upon "a Bust of Pallas".
Athena's Helmet is the central feature on the United States Military Academy crest.
Athena is reported as a source of influence for feminist theologians such as Carol P. Christ.
Jean Boucher's statue of the seated skeptical thinker Ernest Renan, shown to the left, caused great controversy when it was installed in Tréguier, Brittany in 1902. Renan's 1862 biography of Jesus had denied his divinity, and he had written the "Prayer on the Acropolis" addressed to the goddess Athena. The statue was placed in the square fronted by the cathedral. Renan's head was turned away from the building, while Athena, beside him, was depicted raising her arm, which was interpreted as indicating a challenge to the church during an anti-clerical phase in French official culture. The installation was accompanied by a mass protest from local Roman Catholics and a religious service against the growth of skepticism and secularism.
Athena has been used numerous times as a symbol of a republic by different countries and appears on currency as she did on the ancient drachma of Athens. Athena (Minerva) is the subject of the $50 1915-S Panama-Pacific commemorative coin. At 2.5 troy oz (78 g) gold, this is the largest (by weight) coin ever produced by the U.S. Mint. This was the first $50 coin issued by the U.S. Mint and no higher was produced until the production of the $100 platinum coins in 1997. Of course, in terms of face-value in adjusted dollars, the 1915 is the highest denomination ever issued by the U.S. Mint.
Athena was depicted on the obverse of the Greek 100 drachmas banknote of 1978-2001. Another recent example is the 60 Years of the Second Republic commemorative coin issued by Austria in 2005. Athena is depicted in the obverse of the coin, representing the Austrian Republic.
She appears briefly in Disney's Hercules, but has a more dominant role in the television series.
Athena is an active character in Marvel Comics' main continuity, the Marvel Universe, most recently in the Incredible Hercules series. She acts as a guide to Hercules and his sidekick, boy genius Amadeus Cho.
Athena appears in Rick Riordan's Percy Jackson & the Olympians book series. Her daughter, born from her head as she was from Zeus's, demigod Annabeth Chase is one of the principal characters. Annabeth's father found her (Annabeth) lying in a golden cradle at the doorstep.
The Roman name for Athena is Minerva. In the video game Assassin's Creed II, Minerva appears in an ancient vault underneath the Vatican at the end of the game. She explains the origin of mankind within the story to the game's main protagonist, Desmond Miles, through his ancestor, Ezio Auditore.
Athena appears in the television series Stargate SG-1 when she kidnaps Vala Mal Doran to gain information on the Clava Thessara Infinitas (The Key to Infinite Treasure).Masculinity and feminism
Athena had an "androgynous compromise" that allowed her traits and what she stood for to be attributed to male and female rulers alike over the course of history (such as Marie de' Medici, Anne of Austria, Christina of Sweden, and Catherine the Great)
J.J. Bachofen advocated that Athena was originally a maternal figure stable in her security and poise but was caught up and perverted by a patriarchal society; this was especially the case in Athens. The goddess adapted but could very easily be seen as a god. He viewed it as "motherless paternity in the place of fatherless maternity" where once altered, Athena's character was to be crystallized as that of a patriarch.
Whereas Bachofen saw the switch to paternity on Athena's behalf as an increase of power, Freud on the contrary perceived Athena as an "original mother goddess divested of her power". In this interpretation, Athena was demoted to be only Zeus's daughter, never allowed the expression of motherhood. Still more different from Bachofen's perspective is the lack of role permanency in Freud's view: Freud held that time and differing cultures would mold Athena to stand for what was necessary to them.
Apollo Belvedere, ca. 120–140 CE
Apollo is one of the most important and complex of the Olympian deities in ancient Greek and Roman religion, Greek and Roman mythology, and Greco–Roman Neopaganism. The ideal of the kouros (a beardless, athletic youth), Apollo has been variously recognized as a god of light and the sun, truth and prophecy, healing, plague, music, poetry, and more. Apollo is the son of Zeus and Leto, and has a twin sister, the chaste huntress Artemis. Apollo is known in Greek-influenced Etruscan mythology as Apulu.
As the patron of Delphi (Pythian Apollo), Apollo was an oracular god—the prophetic deity of the Delphic Oracle. Medicine and healing are associated with Apollo, whether through the god himself or mediated through his son Asclepius, yet Apollo was also seen as a god who could bring ill-health and deadly plague. Amongst the god's custodial charges, Apollo became associated with dominion over colonists, and as the patron defender of herds and flocks. As the leader of the Muses (Apollon Musegetes) and director of their choir, Apollo functioned as the patron god of music and poetry. Hermes created the lyre for him, and the instrument became a common attribute of Apollo. Hymns sung to Apollo were called paeans.Apollo (left) and Artemis. Brygos (potter signed), Tondo of an Attic red-figure cup c. 470 BC, Musée du Louvre.
In Hellenistic times, especially during the 3rd century BCE, as Apollo Helios he became identified among Greeks with Helios, Titan god of the sun, and his sister Artemis similarly equated with Selene, Titan goddess of the moon In Latin texts, on the other hand, Joseph Fontenrose declared himself unable to find any conflation of Apollo with Sol among the Augustan poets of the 1st century, not even in the conjurations of Aeneas and Latinus in Aeneid XII (161–215). Apollo and Helios/Sol remained separate beings in literary and mythological texts until the 3rd century CE.Etymology Statuette of the Apollo Lykeios type, Museum of the Ancient Agora of Athens (inv. BI 236).
Apollo was worshipped throughout the Roman Empire. In the traditionally Celtic lands he was most often seen as a healing and sun god. He was often equated with Celtic gods of similar character.
- Apollo Atepomarus ("the great horseman" or "possessing a great horse"). Apollo was worshipped at Mauvières (Indre). Horses were, in the Celtic world, closely linked to the sun.
- Apollo Belenus ('bright' or 'brilliant'). This epithet was given to Apollo in parts of Gaul, Northern Italy and Noricum (part of modern Austria). Apollo Belenus was a healing and sun god.
- Apollo Cunomaglus ('hound lord'). A title given to Apollo at a shrine in Wiltshire. Apollo Cunomaglus may have been a god of healing. Cunomaglus himself may originally have been an independent healing god.
- Apollo Grannus. Grannus was a healing spring god, later equated with Apollo.
- Apollo Maponus. A god known from inscriptions in Britain. This may be a local fusion of Apollo and Maponus.
- Apollo Moritasgus ('masses of sea water'). An epithet for Apollo at Alesia, where he was worshipped as god of healing and, possibly, of physicians.
- Apollo Vindonnus ('clear light'). Apollo Vindonnus had a temple at Essarois, near Châtillon-sur-Seine in Burgundy. He was a god of healing, especially of the eyes.
- Apollo Virotutis ('benefactor of mankind?'). Apollo Virotutis was worshipped, among other places, at Fins d'Annecy (Haute-Savoie) and at Jublains (Maine-et-Loire).
The cult centers of Apollo in Greece, Delphi and Delos, date from the 8th century BCE. The Delos sanctuary was primarily dedicated to Artemis, Apollo's twin sister. At Delphi, Apollo was venerated as the slayer of Pytho. For the Greeks, Apollo was all the Gods in one and through the centuries he acquired different functions which could originate from different gods. In archaic Greece he was the prophet, the oracular god who in older times was connected with "healing". In classical Greece he was the god of light and of music, but in popular religion he had a strong function to keep away evil.
From his Eastern-origin Apollo brought the art of inspection from "symbols and omina" (σημεία και τέρατα: semeia kai terata), and of the observation of the omens of the days. The inspiration oracular-cult was probably introduced from Anatolia. The ritualism belonged to Apollo from the beginning. The Greeks created the legalism, the supervision of the orders of the gods, and the demand for moderation and harmony. Apollo became the god of shining youth, the protector of music, spiritual-life, moderation and perceptible order. The improvement of the old Anatolian god, and his elevation to an intellectual sphere, may be considered an achievement of the Greek people.Healer and god-protector from evil
The function of Apollo as a "healer" is connected with Paean , the physician of the Gods in the Iliad, who seems to come from a more primitive religion. Paeοn is probably connected with the Mycenean Pa-ja-wo, but the etymology is the only evidence. He did not have a separate cult, but he was the personification of the holy magic-song sung by the magicians that was supposed to cure disease. Later the Greeks knew the original meaning of the relevant song "paean". The magicians were also called "seer-doctors", and they used an ecstatic prophetic art which was used exactly by the god Apollo at the oracles.
In the Iliad, Apollo is the healer under the gods, but he is also the bringer of disease and death with his arrows, similar to the function of the terrible Vedic god of disease Rudra.He sends a terrible plague to the Achaeans. The god who sends a disease can also prevent from it, therefore when it stops they make a purifying ceremony and offer him an "hecatomb" to ward off evil. When the oath of his priest appeases, they pray and with a song they call their own god, the beautiful Paean.
Some common epithets of Apollo as a healer are "paion" , "epikourios", "oulios", and "loimios" . In classical times, his strong function in popular religion was to keep away evil, and was therefore called "apotropaios" and "alexikakos" , throw away the evil). In later writers, the word, usually spelled "Paean", becomes a mere epithet of Apollo in his capacity as a god of healing.
Homer illustrated Paeon the god, and the song both of apotropaic Thanksgiving or triumph. Such songs were originally addressed to Apollo, and afterwards to other gods: to Dionysus, to Apollo Helios, to Apollo's son Asclepius the healer. About the 4th century BCE, the paean became merely a formula of adulation; its object was either to implore protection against disease and misfortune, or to offer thanks after such protection had been rendered. It was in this way that Apollo had become recognised as the god of music. Apollo's role as the slayer of the Python led to his association with battle and victory; hence it became the Roman custom for a paean to be sung by an army on the march and before entering into battle, when a fleet left the harbour, and also after a victory had been won.Dorian origin
The connection with Dorians and their initiation festival apellai is reinforced by the month Apellaios in northwest Greek calendars, but it can explain only the Doric type of the name, which is connected with the Ancient Macedonian word "pella" (Pella), stone. Stones played an important part in the cult of the god, especially in the oracular shrine of Delphi (Omphalos). The "Homeric hymn" represents Apollo as a Northern intruder. His arrival must have occurred during the "dark ages" that followed the destruction of the Mycenaean civilization, and his conflict with Gaia (Mother Earth) was represented by the legend of his slaying her daughter the serpent Python.
The earth deity had power over the ghostly world, and it is believed that she was the deity behind the oracle. The older tales mentioned two dragons who were perhaps intentionally conflated. A female dragon named Delphyne who is obviously connected with Delphi and Apollo Delphinios, and a male serpent Typhon , the adversary of Zeus in the Titanomachy, who the narrators confused with Python. Python was the good daemon of the temple as it appears in Minoan religion, but she was represented as a dragon, as often happens in Northern European folklore as well as in the East.
Apollo and his sister Artemis can bring death with their arrows. The conception that diseases and death come from invisible shots sent by supernatural beings, or magicians is common in Germanic and Norse mythology. In Greek mythology Artemis was the leader of the nymphs, who had similar functions with the Nordic Elves.The "elf-shot" originally indicated disease or death attributed to the elves, but it was later attested denoting arrow-heads which were used by witches to harm people, and also for healing rituals.
The Vedic Rudra has some similar functions with Apollo. The terrible god is called "The Archer", and the bow is also an attribute of Shiva. Rudra could bring diseases with his arrows, but he was able to free people of them, and his alternative Shiba, is a healer physician god. However the Indo-European component of Apollo, does not explain his strong relation with omens, exorcisms, and with the oracular cult.Minoan origin
It seems an oracular cult existed in Delphi from the Mycenaean ages. In historical times, the priests of Delphi were called Labryaden, "the double-axe men", which indicates Minoan origin. The double-axe (λάβρυς:labrys) was the holy symbol of the Cretan labyrinth. The Homeric hymn adds that Apollo appeared as a dolphin and carried Cretan priests to Delphi, where they evidently transferred their religious practices. Apollo Delphinios was a sea-god especially worshiped in Crete and in the islands, and his name indicates his connection with Delphi and the holy serpent Delphyne (womb). Apollo's sister Artemis, who was the Greek goddess of hunting, is identified with Britomartis (Diktynna), the Minoan "Mistress of the animals". In her earliest depictions she is accompanied by the "Mister of the animals", a male god of hunting who had the bow as his attribute. We don't know his original name, but it seems that he was absorbed by the more powerful Apollo, who stood by the "Mistress of the animals", becoming her brother.
The old oracles in Delphi seem to be connected with a local tradition of the priesthood, and there is not clear evidence that a kind of inspiration-prophecy existed in the temple. This led some scholars to the conclusion that Pythia carried on the rituals in a consistent procedure through many centuries, according to the local tradition. In that regard, the mythical seeress Sibyl of Anatolian origin, with her ecstatic art, looks unrelated to the oracle itself.However, the Greek tradition is referring to the existence of vapours and chewing of laurel-leaves, which seem to be confirmed by recent studies.
Plato describes the priestesses of Delphi and Dodona as frenzied women, obsessed by "mania" (μανία:frenzy), a Greek word connected with "mantis" (μάντις:prophet). Frenzied women like Sibyls from whose lips the god speaks are recorded in the Near East as Mari in the second millennium BC.Although Crete had contacts with Mari from 2000 BC, there is no evidence that the ecstatic prophetic art existed during the Minoan and Mycenean ages. It is more probable that this art was introduced later from Anatolia and regenerated an existing oracular cult that was local to Delphi and dormant in several areas of Greece.Anatolian origin
A non-Greek origin of Apollo has long been assumed in scholarship.The name of Apollo's mother Leto has Lydian origin, and she was worshipped on the coasts of Asia Minor. The inspiration oracular cult was probably introduced into Greece from Anatolia, which is the origin of Sibyl, and where existed some of the oldest oracular shrines. Omens, symbols, purifications, and exorcisms appear in old Assyro-Babylonian texts, and these rituals were spread into the empire of the Hittites. In a Hittite text is mentioned that the king invited a Babylonian priestess for a certain "purification".
A similar story is mentioned by Plutarch. He writes that the Cretan- seer Epimenides, purified Athens after the pollution brought by the Alcmeonidae, and that the seer's expertise in sacrifices and reform of funeral practices were of great help to Solon in his reform of the Athenian state. The story indicates that Epimenides was probably heir to the shamanic religions of Asia, and proves together with the Homeric hymn, that Crete had a resisting religion up to the historical times. It seems that these rituals were dormant in Greece, and they were reinforced when the Greeks migrated to Anatolia.
Homer pictures Apollo on the side of the Trojans, fighting against the Achaeans, during the Trojan War. He is pictured as a terrible god, less trusted by the Greeks than other gods. The god seems to be related to Appaliunas, a tutelary god of Wilusa (Troy) in Asia Minor, but the word is not complete. The stones found in front of the gates of Homeric Troy were the symbols of Apollo. The Greeks gave to him the name αγυιεύς agyieus as the protector god of public places and houses who wards off evil, and his symbol was a tapered stone or column. However, while usually Greek festivals were celebrated at the full moon, all the feasts of Apollo were celebrated at the seventh day of the month, and the emphasis given to that day (sibutu) indicates a Babylonian origin.
The Late Bronze Age (from 1700 to 1200 BCE) Hittite and Hurrian Aplu was a god of plague, invoked during plague years. Here we have an apotropaic situation, where a god originally bringing the plague was invoked to end it. Aplu, meaning the son of, was a title given to the god Nergal, who was linked to the Babylonian god of the sun Shamash. Homer interprets Apollo as a terrible god (δεινός θεός) who brings death and disease with his arrows, but who can also heal, possessing a magic art that separates him from the other Greek gods. In Iliad, his priest prays to Apollo Smintheus, the mouse god who retains an older agricultural function as the protector from field rats. All these functions, including the function of the healer-god Paean, who seems to have Mycenean origin, are fused in the cult of Apollo.Oracular cult Columns of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi, Greece.
Unusually among the Olympic deities, Apollo had two cult sites that had widespread influence: Delos and Delphi. In cult practice, Delian Apollo and Pythian Apollo (the Apollo of Delphi) were so distinct that they might both have shrines in the same locality.Apollo's cult was already fully established when written sources commenced, about 650 BCE. Apollo became extremely important to the Greek world as an oracular deity in the archaic period, and the frequency of theophoric names such as Apollodorus or Apollonios and cities named Apollonia testify to his popularity. Oracular sanctuaries to Apollo were established in other sites. In the 2nd and 3rd century CE, those at Didyma and Clarus pronounced the so-called "theological oracles", in which Apollo confirms that all deities are aspects or servants of an all-encompassing, highest deity. "In the 3rd century, Apollo fell silent. Julian the Apostate (359 - 61) tried to revive the Delphic oracle, but failed
As the patron of Delphi (Pythian Apollo), Apollo was an oracular god — the prophetic deity of the Delphic Oracle. Medicine and healing were associated with Apollo, whether through the god himself or mediated through his son Asclepius, yet Apollo was also seen as a god who could bring ill-health and deadly plague as well as one who had the ability to cure. Amongst the god's custodial charges, Apollo became associated with dominion over colonists, and as the patron defender of herds and flocks. As the leader of the Muses (Apollon Musagetes) and director of their choir, Apollo functioned as the patron god of music and poetry. Hermes created the lyre for him, and the instrument became a common attribute of Apollo. Hymns sung to Apollo were called paeans.
In Hellenistic times, especially during the third century BCE, as Apollo Helios he became identified among Greeks with Helios, god of the sun, and his sister Artemis similarly equated with Selene, goddess of the moon. In Latin texts, on the other hand, Joseph Fontenrose declared himself unable to find any conflation of Apollo with Sol among the Augustan poets of the first century, not even in the conjurations of Aeneas and Latinus in Aeneid XII (161–215). Apollo and Helios/Sol remained separate beings in literary and mythological texts until the third century CE.
Larissa, sometimes written Larisa on ancient coins and inscriptions, is near the site of the Homeric Argissa. It appears in early times, when Thessaly was mainly governed by a few aristocratic families, as an important city under the rule of the Aleuadae, whose authority extended over the whole district of Pelasgiotis. This powerful family possessed for many generations before 369 BC the privilege of furnishing the tagus, the local term for the strategos of the combined Thessalian forces. The principal rivals of the Aleuadae were the Scopadac of Crannon, the remains of which (called by the Turks Old Larissa) are about 14 miles south west. The inhabitants sided with Athens during the Peloponnesian War.
As the chief city of ancient Thessaly, Larissa was directly annexed by Philip II of Macedon in 344, and from then on Larissa was under Macedonian control; in 196 B.C. Larissa became an ally of Rome and was the headquarters of the Thessalian League.
Thessaly was home to an extensive Neolithic culture around 2500 BC. Mycenaean settlements have also been discovered, for example at the sites of Iolcos, Dimini and Sesklo (near Volos). Later, in ancient Greek times, the lowlands of Thessaly became the home of baronial families, such as the Aleuadae of Larissa or the Scopads of Crannon. These baronial families organized a federation across the Thessaly region, later went on to control the Amphictyonic League in northern Greece. The Thessalians were renowned for their cavalry.
In the summer of 480 BC , the Persians invaded Thessaly. The Greek army that guarded the Vale of Tempe , evacuated the road before the enemy arrived. Not much later, Thessaly surrendered. The Thessalian family of Aleuadae joined the Persians. In the Peloponnesian War the Thessalians tended to side with Athens and usually prevented Spartan troops from crossing through their territory with the exception of the army of Brasidas. Jason of Pherae briefly transformed the country into a significant military power, though he was assassinated before any lasting achievements were made. In the 4th century BC Thessaly became dependent on Macedon and many served as vassals. In 148 BC the Romans formally incorporated Thessaly into the province of Macedonia, though in 300 AD Thessaly was made a separate province with its capital at Larissa.
It was part of the Byzantine Empire and suffered many invasions. In 977 it was occupied by the Bulgarians, who remained there until 1014. In 1204 he was assigned to Boniface of Montferrat and in 1225 to Theodore Komnenos Doukas, despot of Epirus. From 1271 to 1318 he was an independent despotate that extended to Acarnania and Aetolia, run by John III Angelos Komneno. In 1309 settled there the Almogavars or Catalan Company of the East (Societas Catalanorum Magna), which in 1310, after lifting the siege of Thessalonica, withdrew as mercenaries in the pay of the sebastocrátor John II, and took over the country organized in a democracy. From there went to the Duchy of Athens called by the duke Walter I. In 1318, with the extinction of the dynasty of Angelos, the Almogavars occupied Siderocastron and southern Thessaly (1319) and formed the duchy of Neopatria.
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