HomeREADERSLITERATUREAthena on Homer's Epics of Troy

Athena on Homer’s Epics of Troy

BIRTH. After Zeus established the sovereignty of the Olympian gods, first Metis, the daughter of Oceanus, united with the goddess. Metis means reason, reason, thinking power in Greek. It is meaningful that the god of the gods chose Metis as his first wife, but after impregnating him with his offspring, he took her into his own body with a deeper meaning: the power of reason and world domination, which can only be achieved through his means, cannot be separated from the chief god, and its products can only come out of his head. Hesiod expresses this concept and thought as follows (Theog. 886 et al.):

Zeus, king of the gods, as first wife
He chose Metis, the wise goddess.
Metis knows the most
among all gods and mortals.
But this goddess is just about to give birth
the brown-eyed Athena,
Zeus obeying the counsels of Heaven and Earth
deceiving his wife with loving words
swallowed it, took it inside his body.

As the second process, the emergence of Athena from Zeus’ head is described as follows (Theog. 924 ff.):

And one day, Zeus brought out of his head the stern-eyed Athena, the goddess who smashed the world together, the goddess who tirelessly led the armies, who enjoyed the battles and the cries of war, and who was considered supreme.

NAME AND ADDITIONAL NAMES. Athena, the daughter of Zeus and one of the twelve Olympian gods, is often referred to by two names, namely Pallas Athena. The origin of the name Athena is unknown, and the origin of Pallas is a matter of debate. There is a Titan named Pallas, whose name is thought to derive from the Greek “pallo”, meaning to shake a spear, to throw; there is also a legend that the goddess Athena killed an Attic giant named Pallas; Is the additional name of Athena related to these giants and swinging the pike? As it is known, according to a legend, the goddess Athena emerged from the head of her father Zeus, armed with a spear in her hand. Or is the additional name Pallas derived from an adjective meaning girl and boy, and when Pallas Athena is mentioned, is the virgin goddess Athena understood? It is difficult to pinpoint this with certainty today. In the Iliad, Zeus calls his beloved daughter “Tritogeneia”. This name, which can mean being born from Triton, is also not clear, the sea god Triton and Athena apparently have no relation. It may be an analogy, but Athena’s only relationship with the sea is when her mother, Metis, is an Oceanus daughter. Is the name Tritogeneia a connotation to this?

Their adjectives are more specific: “aigiokhos” (Aigis) carrying the shield of Aigis, the epithet “glaukopis” with sky-eyed, light-eyed eyes was associated with the goddess’s favorite bird, “glauks”, the owl; Finally, the title of “obrimopatre”, whose father is powerful, is directly because she is the daughter of the chief god Zeus.

QUALITY AND LEGENDS. In the Iliad, Athena appears as a goddess of war, but takes sides, is on the side of the Achaeans, protects Achilles, Diomedes, Odysseus and Menelaos at every opportunity, and does not hesitate to set up dirty schemes against the Trojan warriors. In fact, she plays an ugly role in the Iliad, this goddess of virtue never appears to be on the side of righteousness, her actions are always driven by greed and passions: It is told how Athena wanted to chain her father Zeus with Hera and Poseidon (I, 400), disliked, His attitude towards Aphrodite and Ares, whom he sees as rivals, is ruthless, he helps them to be defeated and injured, then looks down on them, he also rants in front of his father Zeus, does not hesitate to criticize him: In the war between Achilles and Hector, he affects Zeus, who will draw the death lot. XXII, 117 ff.):

What do you say, dark cloudy father,
white lightning! A mortal man whose fate is already determined
this is the man, do you want to miss him
from the dying death?
Do it but we gods
We do not approve of what you did.

The father of the gods softly responds to his daughter’s harsh outbursts, he laughs and caresses her. And here, Athena, disguised as Deiphobos, deceives Hector and drags him to death.

Athena’s role in Odyssey is different and meaningful: We hear from Zeus himself that Odysseus is “the supreme of mortals, in favor of reason”, that Athena, the goddess of reason and virtue, holds this wise man, and it seems natural to hold him. The role of the ruler played by Zeus in the Iliad, Athena plays in the Odysseia: the fate of Odysseus and his entire family is in his hands, whatever events, actions and speeches happen, all happen by the command and guidance of Athena, to the goddess Odysseus. He puts on a thousand disguises to inspire Telemachus, Penelope, and Nausikaa with what he will do and the behavior he will adopt. The goddess also has a consistent feeling in her behavior towards Odysseus: she takes pity on the man who has suffered a lot, does not want all that wisdom and wisdom to go to waste, on the contrary, she wants the right to prevail. That’s why throughout the epic, Athena’s actions, behaviors and speeches in the role of guide are insatiable, the goddess entered other epics and poems with this lovely role, it can be said that she created and immortalized the Athena type as she created the Odysseus type in Homer’s Odyssey.

The legends of Pallas Athena are not that many, the fact that she is a girl and boy and she is afraid of losing this quality, has led to the birth of some strange tales (Erikhtonios, Aglauros). He retains the Argonauts as well as Odysseus and helps build the Argo ship (Argonauts). She plays a role in the Arachne myth (Arakb-ne) as the goddess who protects handicrafts and handicrafts. The role played by the goddess as the founder and protector of Athens is also interesting; It is said that she won the right to be the goddess of the province of Attica and the city of Athens as follows: Poseidon and Pallas Athena competed to win this authority, and they took the gods of Olympus as judges: Poseidon created a salty lake on the Acropolis of Athens, and Athena an olive tree. The gods found the olive tree more beneficial than the salt lake and gave the authority to Athena, thus Athena obtained the administration of the region and the city.

Other cities also adopted Athena as the protector goddess, the first of these being Troy. The biggest, oldest and most sacred temple of Troy was the temple of Athena, the ruins of which can still be seen today, as well as the wooden statue of the goddess called Palladion, which was considered the symbol of the city’s existence. Because of this, many legends were born about Palladion’s escape (Palladion).

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