Athena, goddess of wisdom and war: Her attributes and influence

Athena, often nicknamed Pallas, stands as one of the most complex and respected deities of Greek mythology. She is the living representation of courage, wisdom and craftsmanship. In this article, we explore the many facets of Athena, revealing her mythological origins, her attributes, and the extent of her influence, not only in ancient Greece but also in our contemporary society.


Origins and Birth of Athena

Born from the head of her father Zeus, king of the gods, Athena is a figure of power and intelligence. Conceived without a mother, she emerges in full armour, symbolizing her predisposition to wisdom and war. Tales of her exploits are scattered throughout Greek mythology, enriching its ancient heritage.

Athena and Wisdom

  • Athena, goddess of reason: Endowed with implacable logic and unfailing clairvoyance, Athena embodies thoughtful, balanced thinking.
  • Legends illustrating her wisdom:** Her intervention in the Judgment of Paris and her support for Odysseus during the Odyssey bear witness to her wise mind.
  • Attribution of the owl - symbol of wisdom:** The nocturnal bird often accompanies Athena, reflecting her perceptive nature.
  • Cult and places of veneration associated with wisdom: Athens' famous Acropolis bears witness to its importance down the ages.

Athena and War

As goddess of war strategy, Athena represents a more intellectual aspect of confrontation, preferring tactics and diplomacy to the brute force embodied by Ares. Her legends reveal her role as protector, including the help she gave to legendary heroes such as Achilles and Jason.

Attributes and symbols of Athena

  • Weapons and armor : The aegis, a terrifying shield adorned with the head of the Gorgon, and her unbreakable spear, are inseparable from her image.
  • Sacred objects:** The olive tree, which she offered to the city of Athens, and the owl are recurring symbols of her presence.
  • Intellectual attributes: Weaving looms and handicrafts illustrate her connection with skill and craftsmanship.

Influence of Athena in Culture and Art

  • Artistic representations throughout Antiquity: Statues, friezes and pottery from classical Greece often portray her with majesty and grandeur.
  • Athena in ancient literature: Her adventures are omnipresent in epics such as the Iliad and the Odyssey.
  • Later influence and modern representations:** Athena continues to inspire artists and writers.
  • Her image serves as a figure of empowerment and feminine independence.

Athena worship and religious practices

  • The Pantheon, her main temple: The Parthenon, an emblematic edifice overlooking Athens, bears witness to her primordial status.
  • Rituals and festivals in honor of Athena:** The Panathenaeums, grandiose celebrations, marked the worship of the goddess.
  • Political and social influence of the cult:** Devotion to Athena played a central role in the politics of the city of Athens.

Athena in the contemporary world

  • References in popular culture: Athena constantly appears in films, video games and books.
  • Athena as an icon for brands and organizations:** From educational institutions to commercial brands, she is a source of inspiration.
  • Lessons from the goddess for today's world: Athena's wisdom and strategy continue to be relevant values.


In summary, the goddess Athena remains an influential figure of ancient wisdom, a living legend whose legacy endures. Her impact on modern society bears witness to her indelible place in human history.


  • Primary sources: Ancient texts such as Homer's "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey"
  • Secondary sources: Academic studies, specialized articles and books on Greek mythology

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