In Greek religion and mythology, Athena is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, Minerva is the Roman goddess identified with Athena.
law and justice, just warfare, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill.
Athena is also a shrewd companion of heroes and is the goddess of heroic endeavour. She is the virgin patroness of Athens. The Athenians founded the Parthenon on the Acropolis of her namesake city, Athens (Athena Parthenos), in her honour.
Athena's veneration as the patron of Athens seems to have existed from the earliest times, and was so persistent that archaic myths about her were recast to adapt to cultural changes. The city of Athens and the goddess Athena essentially bear the same name.
The more famous myths featuring the goddess Athena include:
- Her birth from the head of Zeus, fully-grown and arrayed in arms;
- Her contest with Poseidon for dominion of Athens in which she produced the first olive tree and he the first horse;
- The War of the Giants in which she buried Enkelados beneath Mount Etna and made her aigis from the skin of Pallas;
- The attempted rape of the goddess by Hephaistos, who spilled his seed upon the earth and produced Erikhthonios, who she then adopted as her own;
- The assisting of Perseus in his quest to slay the Gorgon and the Argonauts in their quest for the Golden Fleece;
- The assisting of Herakles with his twelve labours;
- The weaving contest with Arakhne who was transformed by the goddess into a spider;
- The blinding of Teiresias for viewing her naked in the bath;
- The Judgement of Paris in which she competed with Hera and Aphrodite for the prize of the golden apple;
- The Trojan War where she sided with the Greeks in battle, but attacked their ships with a storm when they failed to punish Oilean Ajax for violating her Trojan shrine.
[sources: Wikipedia & Theoi.com]
Though courageous Athena was a far warrior’s cry from being what one might call a ‘chicken,’ she sure knew how to cook one. Here’s the Greek recipe created in her name.
- 6 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (6 ounces each)
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes (not packed in oil), chopped
- 1/3 cup pitted Greek olives, chopped
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Place chicken in a 3-qt. slow cooker.
- Add the remaining ingredients.
- Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or until a thermometer reads 170°.
Yield: 6 servings.
Nutritional Facts: 1 chicken breast half equals 237 calories, 6 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 94 mg cholesterol, 467 mg sodium, 8 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 36 g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 4 lean meat, 1 vegetable, 1 fat.