Hello! My name is Athena. I was a Greek goddess, I was tall, strong, graceful, gray-eyed, and I loved owls. From the beginning, I was a pretty amazing goddess. In fact, even my birth was very unusual.
Zeus, the father of gods and goddesses, was also my father. My mother was a mortal woman named Metis. Older gods had warned my father that he would be in trouble if Metis gave birth to me. So he swallowed my mother whole. (Talk about cruel!)
When the time came for me to be born, I sprang full grown out of Zeusâ€™s head. I was completely dressed in armor, as I always would be. I also carried a shield and a spear. As you might guess, I was a great warrior.
I was also a goddess of wisdom. I taught people about arts and crafts.Â Also I taught them how to think clearly and live well. Often I seen with an owl, so owls became a symbol of wisdom.
I didnâ€™t get along with the sea god Poseidon. For one thing, we were often rivals over one thing or another. Just today the people of a new city were looking for a god to watch over and protect them. As you could guess, Poseidon and I both wanted the job.
To impress the cityâ€™s citizens we gave them gifts. Poseidon struck the ground with his three-pointed spear, and water poured out. The water turned into a river that flowed into the sea. Poseidon told the people to build ships to sail to the sea. He said that they could travel everywhere. They could become the most powerful people on earth.
The citizens were indeed impressed. But then I told them to taste the water. It tasted awful. It was saltwater, which is impossible to drink.
After that I gave the citizens my gift. When I hit the ground with my spear, a tree magically grew up within seconds. I explained that it was a special treeâ€”an olive tree. Its wood was good both for building houses and for heating those houses in winter. Better still, the treeâ€™s little green fruits, called â€œolives,â€ were delicious. And oil made out of the olives was useful for cooking.
The citizens liked my gift better than Poseidonâ€™s. Not only did they choose me to watch over them but also they named the city after me. They called it Athens. Poseidon left in a huff, causing a serious flood on his way. But the Athenians werenâ€™t bothered very much. With my help, their city grew to be strong and wealthy. Athens became one of the greatest cities of all time. I bet in the future it is going to be the capital and the largest city of Greece