Athena (Greek)/Minerva (Roman)
Athena was the virginal supporter of the arts and crafts, and the goddess of wisdom and war, the owl being her symbol.
As a girl, Artemis accidentally murdered her friend Pallas, and, to honor her memory, placed Pallas’ name before hers, which is why she is sometimes called Pallas Athena.
Athena’s story began with her mother, Metis, her father, Zeus, and a prophecy. Zeus was told of the power his daughter was destined to have, and, frightened of this, was determined to murder his unborn child. There are many stories about how he did this; here is one:
Zeus swallowed Metis, child and all, after tricking her into turning into a fly. Metis then gave birth to Athena inside Zeus’ head. This is what the stories all have in common: Athena came into the world when Zeus’s head was cracked open by Hephaestus, and emerged fully armed.
Athena enjoyed the battlefield, and is found in too many stories to count. In them, she often helped heroes such as Heracles.