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Olympian Gods » Athena, the Goddess of Wisdom » Myths about Athena

Athena's Birth out of the Head of Zeus

A Birth Story

Athena springs out of the head of Zeus fully armed, 560-550 B.C. Museum of Olympia, Greece

According to the legend, Athena was born in the ancient city of Alipheira in southern Greece.

The Announcement of the Pregnancy

When Zeus married his first wife, the Oceanid Metis, Metis soon became pregnant. According to a prophecy at that time, Metis would bear a son who would pose a severe threat to Zeus. So, right after Metis revealed her pregnancy, Zeus swallowed his child fearfully in order to protect his kingdom.

The Birth of Athena

Nine months passed by and then suddenly Zeus started feeling a strong pain in his head and asked the Gods' smith Hephaestus to comfort him. Hephaestus obeyed and opened Zeus' head with an ax without hurting him. All of a sudden, goddess Athena sprang out of Zeus' head. She was already an adult, wearing armor with a shield in her hands and uttering warlike cries!

From the first moment goddess Athena came into the world, she won the heart of Zeus and became his favorite child. However, she never received a mother's care. That's why she inevitably possessed more masculine than feminine attributes.




Myths and Fables about Athena

The Creation of the Lycabettus Hill in Athens
The Creation of the Lycabettus Hill in Athens
Athena's Birth out of the Head of Zeus
Athena's Birth out of the Head of Zeus
Athena, Poseidon and the Patronage of Athens
Athena, Poseidon and the Patronage of Athens
Athena, Arachne and the Weaving Contest
Athena, Arachne and the Weaving Contest
Athena and the Price of Impiety
Athena and the Price of Impiety

Birth Stories in Greek Mythology

The Birth of the Twins Apollo and Artemis
The Birth of the Twins Apollo and Artemis
Athena's Birth out of the Head of Zeus
Athena's Birth out of the Head of Zeus
The Birth of Dionysus
The Birth of Dionysus
The Birth of Zeus, the King of the Gods
The Birth of Zeus, the King of the Gods