Athena was the Greek virgin goddess of wisdom, industry, justice, arts and literature. She was the daughter of Zeus although her birth was extraordinarily unique. Her mother was Metis, goddess of wisdom and Zeus' first wife. In fear that Metis would bear a son mightier than himself.

Zeus swallowed her and thus she began to make a robe and helmet for her daughter. The hammering of the helmet caused Zeus great pain in the form of headaches and therefore he cried out in agony. Skilled Hephaestus ran to his father and split his skull open. From it emerged Athena, fully grown and wearing her mother's robe and helmet. She is the virgin mother of Erichthnonius.

Athena was fierce and brave in battle; however, she only took part in wars that defended the state and home from outside enemies. She was the patron of the city of Athens, handcraft, and agriculture. She invented the bridle, which permitted man to tame horses, the trumpet, the flute, the pot, the rake, the plow, the yoke, the ship, and the chariot.

She was the embodiment of wisdom, reason, and purity. Because Athena was Zeus' favorite child, she was allowed to use his weapons - including his mighty thunderbolt. Her holy tree was the olive tree and she was often symbolized as an owl.

It is noticeable that Athena and Athens are derived  from the same root. Athens (or Athenae) is in plural form because it represents the sisterhood of the goddess that existed there. Similarly, Athena was called Mykene in the city of Mycenae (also a plural after the respective sisterhood), and Thebe in the city of Thebes (or Thebae, both plural forms).