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Lecture 8

CLAS104 Lecture Notes - Lecture 8: Horse Training, Bridle, Athena

Classical Studies
Course Code
Ronald Kroeker

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Athena (Lecture Slides 8)
Pallas Athena (Minerva): Intro
very often simply called “Pallas” and the Romans called her “Minerva”
most consistently positive of all the Olympian gods
some say that Athena isn’t really a war goddess, but a goddess of victory
birth: sprang from Zeus’ head. Zeus was scared of the offspring of Metis so he
swallowed Metis and out came Athena from his head fully armoured
known for her military prowess, wisdom, and masculine virginity
portrayed as very masculine; often favours male over female, and this is probably
because she was born from no mother. It’s usually said that she thinks more like Zeus
than any other god
one of the three virgin goddesses → her virginity may hint that she’s not subject to male power
aegis (like a goat-skin bib) which hangs down in front of her and protects her (page 5 in
story said that she was given Medusa’s head (since she helped kill Medusa) and she put
this head on her aegis making it so much more powerful
she is also portrayed with a full armour (page 6 in slides)
owl (for wisdom)
olive (domesticated form of the olive tree from Athens, where she was chosen as the
goddess of the city instead of Poseidon)
symbolizes her as a god of civilization and orderliness
like mentioned before, another name for her is “Pallas Athena”
people think “Pallas” means “maiden” or “she who brandishes a weapon”
some people think Pallas is the name of a friend when she was younger, but she got
mad at Pallas and killed her. Athena was very distraught and so she took the name
Pallas to honour her
some people think Pallas is the name of a giant whom she killed. She skinned the giant
and made her aegis out of the giant’s skin. Giants are the symbol of chaos, and this is
very fitting since she’s the goddess of civilization
some also called her “Tritogenia” (three named)
find more resources at
find more resources at
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