Athena (Minerva, Nēit)

Category: Gods > The “Twelve” Gods

Athena, holding a spear, wearing the aegis (a breastplate with the head of the Gorgon on it), and crowned with a sphinx and two griffins (Wikimedia Commons)


  1. The names of Athena
  2. The meaning of her names and epithets
  3. Understanding the goddess
  4. The appearance of Athena
  5. Animal sacrifices
  6. Sacred animals
  7. Sacred plants
  8. Sacred stones

1 The names of Athena

The goddess’ proper name in early Greek, and later still in the Doric dialect, was Athā́nā. In Ionic, where long ā shifted to ē, this became Athḗnē in Ionic Greek (including Attic, the dialect of Athens). The common English form Athena derives from neither of these forms, but from the longer Attic form Athēnaíā (=Ionic Athēnaíē), which was contracted to Athēnâ, with the accent on the last rather than the ultimate syllable. Derived from ‘Athena’ is the adjective ‘Athenaic’ (Athēnaïkós), or more ambiguously ‘Athenaean’ (Athēnaîos), as in Athēnaîon (‘Athenaeum, temple of Athena’); but this can also mean ‘of Athens, Athenian’.

Athena is also known as Pallas. Originally this appears in poetry as Pallàs Athēnaíē or Pallàs Athḗnē, i.e., as a unique adjective (gr. epítheton ídion = lat. epithetum proprium) of Athena (Apollonius, Homeric Lexicon s.v. Παλλάς). Later, by antonomasia (the use of an adjective in place of a proper name), it is also used on its own; indeed, this is the only way the name is used in Greek prose. Pallás has the genitive Palládos, and is not to be confused with the masculine Pállas (gen. Pállantos).

Another common Greek byname is Tritōnís (also Tritogéneia), of uncertain meaning. Vergil calls the goddess Tritōnia Pallas: “two antonomasives in place of the one proper name” (Servius, On the Aeneid 2.615; also 5.704).

In Latin, she is never called Athena, but by a native Italian name, Minerva (Etruscan Menrva). This is because divine proper names were regarded as translatable, like common nouns (such as ‘earth’) and unlike human proper names. However, the Greek divine bynames such as Pallas (not being proper names) were borrowed into Latin usage, especially but not only in poetry. The adjectives derived from ‘Minerva’ are ‘Minerval’ (Minervālis) and ‘Minervian’ (Minervius). The word minerval was used for payment or gifts given to teachers, reflecting her connection to wisdom.

In the fourth century BCE, Plato reports that the goddess who rules the Egyptian city of Saïs is “named Nēíth in Egyptian, but in Greek, as their (=the Egyptians’) account goes, Athena” (Plato, Timaeus 21e). This name is spelled Nēit in Coptic, ny.t in the older indigenous Egyptian scripts (which spell only consonants). Greek-language writers also use the name Saïs (i.e., ‘she of Saïs’) for Nēith (e.g., Pausanias, Description of Greece 9.12.2), but most commonly simply call her Athena. As Plato indicates, this reflects a shared understanding, not a Greek projection or imposition.

Also written in the fourth century BCE, a dedicatory inscription from Cyprus, the so-called Anat Athena bilingual, equivocates Greek Athena Soteira Nike (‘Athena Savior Victory’; see below for an explanation) with Phoenician “ˤAnat, strength of the living (ʕnt ʕz ḥym)”, a name well known from the mythological texts of the Canaanite city of Ugarit. Philo of Byblos too seems to call ˤAnat by the name Athena in Greek, explicitly attributing the founding of Athens to a goddess worshipped also among the Phoenicians.

In the Roman period, the iconography and Greek name of Athena were also adopted in the Syrian city Palmyra and the Hauran region to depict and refer to a goddess who was called Allāt (‘the Goddess’) in Arabic (see the statue on the left, from the temple of Allāt in Palmyra; Wikimedia Commons).

However, the goddess could also be called by other Greek names (“Allathē, who is also [called] Artemis”, SEG 28:1337 [off-site link]), and other iconographic traditions continued to exist alongside the Athenaic one, e.g., that of a goddess seated on a lion-flanked throne (like that of the Mother-of-Gods or, more proximately, Atargatis). There is also a relief in which she appears as Athena but seated on a lion throne (Javier Teixidor, The Pantheon of Palmyra, p. 63).

Athena further appears as a name of the Egyptian hippopotamus goddess tꜣ-wrt, ‘the Great One’, alongside the more common borrowed forms like Thoúēris (Plutarch, On Isis and Osiris 358c, sans translation) and Thóēris, directly reflecting the Coptic Thouēri (Ⲑⲟⲩⲏⲣⲓ).

In P.Wisc. 1 3 and P. Oxy. 64 4440 (off-site links), we find a triple name, “Athena Thoēris, the greatest goddess (theá megístē)”, i.e., her Greek name, Egyptian name, and apparently a literal translation into Greek (‘greatest goddess’ = ‘the great one’). Even clearer is P.Oxy. 8 1117 (off-site link): “Athena, who is also (called) Thoēris, the greatest goddess”.

At other times, she is simply “Athena Thoēris” (P. Reinach Gr. 2 93, off-site link), and most frequently just Thoēris.

(The image to the right is a Ptolemaic faience vessel of Thouēri, from Wikimedia Commons.)

In a lexicon fragment (off-site link), the goddess Metis (‘Wisdom’), who is the “mother of Athenaiē” according to the poets (Hesiod in Galen, On the Opinions of Hippocrates and Plato 3.8.13), is actually identified as “Athena. And in the temple of Athena Chalkioikos of the Lacedaemonians, there is a small Athenadium (‘statue of Athena’), and they say that on it is inscribed ‘Metis’.”

Vacuna is a goddess among the Sabines, who is depicted in an unclear shape.

  • “Some believe her to be Bellona, others Minerva, others Diana” (Pomponius Porphyrio, On Horace’s Epistles 1.10.49).
  • “Some say that Vacuna is Ceres, others a goddess of freedom (vacatio), others Victory, since we are free (vacamus) of spears (curis) when she is favorable.
  • “Vacuna, a goddess much worshipped by the Sabines, some have believed to be Minerva, others Diana; some have also said that she is Venus.
  • “But Varro, in the first book of Divine Matters says that she is Victory, because those who are devoid (vacent) of wisdom most delight in her” (Pseudo-Acro, On Horace’s Epistles 1.10.49).

2 The meaning of her names and epithets

The Latin ‘Minerva’ seems to allow for an etymological explanation in modern linguistic terms (albeit there are multiple plausible Indo-European reconstructions, so that I will not name any in particular). This is not so for ‘Athena’; like the Greek names of most major deities, its meaning is opaque.

Firstly, we must address the relation of Athena to Athens, since the name of the city (Athênai) is grammatically the plural of the theonym (Athḗnē), and her worship was so prominent there that Athenians often called her simply “the goddess”. In one case, Homer actually uses the singular, otherwise reserved for the goddess, to refer to the city (Odyssey 7.80). According to the ancients, the city is named for the goddess, and this anomalous instance of the singular does not go against this. However, modern scholarship has sometimes proposed the opposite, that the goddess is named after the city. The earliest, Mycenean attestation of her name allows both interpretations, because it is written in the defective Linear B script, as a-ta-na po-ti-ni-ja. This could represent either Athā́nās Pótnia, ‘Lady of Athens’ (if the singular could be used for the city in Mycenean Greek), or Athā́nā Pótnia, ‘Lady Athena’. In either case, Athā́nā is thought by modern linguists to be a pre-Greek word, retained from an indigenous language.

But does this really lead us anywhere? In the absence of hard facts about pre-Greek language(s), we must consign ourselves to the explanations of ancient grammarians. They may not be able to tell us how the goddess was seen at some putative “original” time, but they show most clearly how she was understood in the times that the ancient sources were actually written and read.

Aqhnaikas … aqanatw to qnhton

DND 2.67: Minerva autem quae vel minueret vel minaretur.

Pallas …

ab hastae concussione

Apollonius, Homeric Lexicon: <Παλλάς> ἐπίθετον ἴδιον Ἀθηνᾶς, ὡς μὲν Ἀπίων, ἀπὸ τοῦ παίειν 126.30 τοὺς λαούς, ἢ ἀπὸ τοῦ πάλλειν τὸ δόρυ, ἢ ἀπὸ τοῦ πάλλειν κατὰ τὴν ἡλικίαν· παρθένος γάρ ἐστιν, ὅθεν καὶ ὁ πάλλαξ ὠνόμασται. ἔνιοι δὲ ὅτι Πάλλαντα ἀνεῖλεν ἕνα τῶν Γιγάντων· τοῦτο δὲ οὐκ ἄν τις ἐξ Ὁμήρου παραστήσειε.

Photius, Lexicon: <Παλλάς>: παρθένος μεγάλη· ἔστι δὲ ἐπίθετον Ἀθηνᾶς, ἀπὸ τοῦ πάλλειν τὸ δόρυ· ἢ ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀνηιρηκέναι Πάλλαντα ἕνα τῶν Τιτάνων.

Pseudo-Zonaras: pi.1506.23 <Παλλάς>. ἡ Ἀθηνᾶ. παρὰ τὸ ἀναπεπλάσθαι ἐκ τῆς κεφαλῆς τοῦ Διός. ἢ ὅτι Πάλλαντα ἕνα pi.1506.25 τῶν Γιγάντων ἀπέκτεινεν. ἢ παρὰ τὸ ἀεὶ κινη- τὸν εἶναι τὴν θεόν· ἡ γὰρ αὐτὴ νοεῖται φρό- νησις. ἢ παρὰ τὸ πάλλειν καὶ κραδαίνειν τὸ δόρυ· πολεμικὴ γὰρ ἡ θεός. ἢ διὰ τὸ παλλο- μένην τὴν καρδίαν τοῦ Διονύσου προσκομίσαι pi.1506.30 τῷ Διΐ.

Scholia on Homer: 1.200.1 <Παλλάδα.> Τὴν Ἀθηνᾶν ἐπιθετικῶς. ἤτοιγε ἀπὸ τοῦ πάλλειν, καὶ κραδαίνειν τὸ δόρυ· πολεμικὴ γὰρ ἡ Θεός· ἢ ὅτι Πάλλαντα ἕνα τῶν γιγάντων ἀπέκτει- 1.200.5 νεν. ἢ ἀπὸ τοῦ ἀναπαλθῆναι αὐτὴν ἐν τῇ κεφαλῇ τοῦ Διός· ἢ διὰ τὸ παλ- λομένην τὴν καρδίαν τοῦ Διονύσου προσκομίσαι τῷ Διΐ.

Tritonis, Tritogeneia :

aut quasi terribilis

Neoplatonic! cf. Kore – Procl. thn poliouxon korhn

Scholia in Aristoph. Equit. sch eq.1188d.1 Tr τὰ τρία] μέρη. Lh sch eq.1189a.1 vet Tr <ἡ Τριτογενὴς γὰρ αὐτὸν ἐνετριτώνισεν:> εὐκαίρως τῷ ἐπι- θέτῳ ἐχρήσατο, ἵνα παίξῃ παρὰ τὰ τρία καὶ δύο. βούλεται δὲ δηλοῦν ὅτι καὶ sch eq.1189a.3 ἡ Ἀθηνᾶ τοιοῦτον αὐτὸν ἐποίησεν, ὡς δύνασθαι τρία μέρη φέρειν ὕδατος. ἢ ὡς ἀπὸ τῶν τριῶν κραμάτων. ἢ ὡς ἀπὸ Τρίτωνος, ποταμοῦ Λιβύης, παρ‘ sch eq.1189a.5 ᾧ ἐτέχθη ἡ Ἀθηνᾶ. VEΓΘMLh sch eq.1189b.1 vet ἡ Τριτογενὴς] ἤγουν ἡ Ἀθηνᾶ, ἡ γεννηθεῖσα ἐκ τῆς Τριτῶ, ἤγουν ἐκ τοῦ κεφαλαίου. Γ2 sch eq.1189c.1 Tr ἐνετριτώνισεν] τρία μέτρα φέρειν ὕδατος ἐποίησε. Lh


Epithets: 1280 – 81a <ἦμος δ‘ οὐρανόθεν χαροπή>: χαροπὴν τὴν ἠὼ διὰ τὸ λαμπρύνειν τὸν ἀέρα καὶ φωτίζειν. τὸ δὲ γλαυκὸν καὶ χαροπὸν 115.5 συνωνύμως λέγεται· ἀμφότερα γὰρ ἐπὶ τοῦ λαμπροῦ. διὸ καὶ ἐπήνεγκεν <διαγλαύσσουσιν>, ἀντὶ τοῦ φωτίζουσιν ἢ διαλάμπουσιν. ὅθεν καὶ ἡ Ἀθηνᾶ γλαυκῶπις καὶ γλήνη ἡ κόρη τοῦ ὀφθαλμοῦ, παρὰ τὸ γλαύσσειν, ὅ ἐστι λάμπειν. καὶ Εὐριπίδης ἐπὶ τῆς σελήνης ἐχρήσατο (fg 1009 N.2). 115.9 ’γλαυκῶπις [τε] στρέφεται μήνη’.

D Scholia 2.166: <Γλαυ- 2.166.2 κῶπις.> Γλαυκόφθαλμος, καλὴ, φοβερά. ἢ καταπληκτικὴ τὴν πρόσοψιν.
1.206: <Γλαυκῶπις.> Ἡ γλαυκό- φθαλμος, ἡ γλαυκοὺς καὶ καταπληκτι- 1.206.5 κοὺς ὦπας ἔχουσα.

Scholia on Oppian: 2.23.1 Παλλάς· ἡ φρόνησις, ἤως ἡ Ἀθηνᾶ· Παλλάν φησι τὴν Ἀθηνᾶν, ἢ ὅτι ἐξῆλθε τῆς τοῦ Διὸς κεφαλῆς, πάλλουσα τὰ ὅπλα, ἢ ὅτι Πάλλαντά τινα ἕνα τῶν Γι- γάντων ἐφόνευσεν, ἢ ὅτι παλλομένην ἀνήγαγε τῷ Διῒ 2.23.5 τὴν τοῦ Διονύσου καρδίαν, τῆς Σεμέλης κεραυνωθείσης. ἐπιχθονίους· τοὺς ἀνθρώπους, πολύππωται (πτωτοι). ἐδιδάξατο· ἐδίδαξεν. δῶρα· χαρίσματα. Ἄρηος· τοῦ πολέμου.


Qhgulis, ageleih, Zwsteira, laossoos, Staqmia, tritogenhs, alalkomenhis, Ogka, Lafria, Pylaitis

Boudis; Aloitis kai Kudwnia kai Qrasw [on Lycophron]

3 Understanding the goddess

Aqhna de ton aiqera
D-Scholia 20.74
Scholia on Iliad 1.400c
summum aetheris cacumen
quae supra aetherem est
Artemidorus‘ taxonomy
John Lydus 3.9; 4.22; 4.54; 4.60
Martianus Capella, Diogenes of Babylon, Varro, Diogenes Laertius 7.147
Porph: en selhnh
Aqhna stoixeiakws eis ton aera allhgoreitai
h Aqhna ws sunesews proesthkuia daimwn

h fronhsis faeinotath kai lamprotath estin
aqhna legetai h fronhsis
h aqhna dioti ths fronhsews

Athena in Scholia on Aelius Aristides

Pseudacro: 19. proximos i. t. o. p. h. Proximam Iouis honori Mineruam dicit, hoc est uirtutem et sapientiam deo uicinam, unde nulla quaestio est, cur supra dixerit ‘nil Ioui simile aut secundum’ et in sequenti Mineruam proximam posuerit. secvndvm. Secundum aruspicum dicta uel disputationes, qui Iouem primam, secundam et tertiam partem caeli solum uolunt in fulminibus tenere.

Hymns (Aristides, etc.)

kaqo kai en alogois zwois esti ti filergon kai texnoeides

armorum dea est et lanificii
ut artium in Minerva
Minerva orationis magistra
virtutum praesul
artium atque artificium magistram

Minervam operum atque artificiarum
et lana in tutela Minervae sit; perita lanificii
Zonaras: ἡ Ἀθηνᾶ, παρόσον ἔφορός ἐστι τῆς τῶν γυναικῶν ἐργασίας. + context
Rhetorica Anonyma: eforon ousan hn aqhnan ths fronhsews kai tou logistikou
Scholia Pl. : Aqhna fratria h toutou eforos
Olympiodorus: eforos de sofias
Proclus: daimonis
Proclus: ths ufantikhs prostatein
Proclus: noeras de zwhs eforon
Proclus: tais aqhnaikais energeiais; en tais aqhnaikais dynamesi
Scholia on Callimachus: 3.245.1 <<ἔργον Ἀθηναίης:>> Ἀθηνᾶ γὰρ ἔφορος πάσης τέχνης.
Scholia on Pindar: Ἀθηνᾶ κατὰ πᾶσαν χειρουργικὴν τέχνην τὸ ἄριστον αὐτοῖς ἀπένειμεν.

Damascius: en Dii pws uparxousa h Aqhna
exei ti h men Aqhna diion

pasa gar h aqhnaikh seira mia dihkei
Aqhnaikoi gar ontes … mias phghs
Procl. Crat. 185
Procl. Tim. 1.77
Procl. qeologoi pantes Aqhnan
Korh tritogenhs … Selhniakhn
Procl. iatrikhn apo ths aqhnas (!); en selhnh thn aqhnan
Aqhnaikh tas fronimous
megisths tauths qeothtos ths aqhnaikhs
ws kai authn arethn ousan

Aqhna dia to filosofon kai polemikon

Pseudacro: 385. § tv nihil. ‘Tu o Piso’ a superioribus pendet, idest tu, o Piso, nihil dicas aut facias inuita Minerua. Inuita autem Minerua facimus, quod est stultitiae, et est prouerbium artificum. Inuita autem Minerua, quia et ipsa inter ceteras artes etiam poesi praeest.

habere quidem Minervam ut Iovem et Iunonem fulmen
Iovem Vulcanum Minervam
Manubiae Minervales – Minervae sidus
Iovis Iunonis Minervae
pariter eis Minerva ac Iovis fulmine
(Lactantius Placidus)

Iovem Minervam Mercurium (x2), Iovem Iunonem Neptunum et Minervam, dii magni sunt Iuppiter

arces Minervae dantur
arces Minervam
dea arcium

sicut in Iovis Minerva et Iuno
in quo est Minerva, Iuppiter, Iuno
tot viae et tot templa

digiti Minervae

Minervae Erichthonius
appellatus est Erichthonius

Damascius: Swteiras Aqhnas

despoina hmwn?

myth: quae videtur aranea; hoc animal puella Lydia; quia videtur aranea
puella Myrmix
cum Neptunus et Minerva; cum de nomine Athenarum Neptunus et Minerva
-Minerva Athenis
Medusa erecta favore Neptuni
vel Minervae coniugium sortiretur
para tous loipous qeous arhs kai aqhna ths polews

οἱ μὲν Παλαμάονα λέγουσι O 7.66b.2 ῥῆξαι τὴν τοῦ Διὸς κεφαλὴν ὅτε Ἀθηνᾶ ἐγεννᾶτο· οἱ δὲ Ἑρμῆν· οἱ δὲ Προμηθέα· Ἀριστοκλῆς δὲ ὑφίσταται τὴν γένεσιν Ἀθηνᾶς ἐν Κρήτῃ· νέφει γάρ φησι κεκρύφθαι τὴν O 7.66b.5 θεὸν, τὸν δὲ Δία πλήξαντα τὸ νέφος προφᾶναι αὐτήν.

boun te hgagen upo zugon
prwth gar aqhna skiadion epenohse; Aqhna Skiras

Aqhna, htoi tou hrwos fronhsis

Harpocration: ἔστι δὲ ἐπώνυμον τῆς Ἀθηνᾶς· καὶ γὰρ Ὑγίεια καλεῖται καὶ Νίκη καὶ Ἱππία καὶ Ἐργάνη. (context!)
Aelius Aristides: οὐ γάρ ἐστιν Ἀθηνᾶς νίκη κυρία, ἀλλ‘ Ἀθηνᾶ νίκης ἀεί
Dii tw Swthri kai th Aqhna kai th Nikh
Heliodorus: Oti de Nikhs Aqhnas
‚Aqhna Nikh‘, ‚Nikh Aqhna‘, ‚Aqhna h Nikh‘
Scholia in Demosthenem: Nikhs Aqhnas, Nikhn de thn Aqhnan

‚Ygeia Aqhna‘

Scholia on Aelius Aristides: Pronoias Aqhnas
Demosthenes: „
? Pausanias: Aqhnas kaleitai Pronoias
Julian: Pronoia- & Aqhna- several times
Proclus: pronoias Aqhnas?, Aqhnaikhs pronoias
Photius: Pronoia Aqhna
Scholia in Aeschinem: Aqhna Pronoia


4 The appearance of Athena

arsenoqhleis esse omnes deos

swmatikwn ommatwn kata thn omhrikhn aqhnan

Scholia on Odyssey 5.47

Ovid: flava Minerva.
Cicero, Orator 9.
hasta Minerva tua est

oleaginea corona
galeatae Minervae
Proclus, Herodotus, Zosimus

Proclus: Crat. 74;
Procl. asxhmatistous
tw Mentori
peri thn Aqhnan oratai; doru de to tmhtikon
Aqhnaikhn aigida

aqhna faos epoiei

bird form – Proclus?

hoc autem caput ideo Minerva

peplum proprie est palla picta feminea Minervae consecrata
unde post Minervae palla pelum appellata est

numerus Minervae; eptas Aqhnaikh; Aqhna amhtwr; ebdomon Aqhna; shapes etc. in Porphyry, Proclus, Plutarch, Damascius etc.
Aqhnas men to trigwnon

Procl. Eucl. 7.7.18

Pseudacro: Aegida autem scutum Mineruae dixit. Vergilius in Troiae euersione ut eam monstraret inimicam (Aen. II 615. 616): Tritonia, respice, Pallas // Insedit, nimbo effulgens et Gorgone saeua.


5 Animal sacrifices

“There is an […] order to sacrifices. […] To the Earth (Tellus), they say, being a mother, a pregnant breeding-sow is immolated with her fetus, but to Minerva, being a virgin, a virgin heifer is slain, never touched by the goad, never made to do any work” (Arnobius, Against the Gentiles 7.22). Whether this rule was actually widely observed is unclear to me; extant Greek ritual norms often specify only “a cow”, which is not even gender-specific (e.g., CGRN 1, off-site link).

Alternate animal offerings are sheep – including female lambs, but also adult and even pregnant ewes, as well as rams – and more rarely swine (including piglets). In one case, even a goat (CGRN 190), although literary sources tell us this was generally forbidden: [Athenaeus 13.51.26; Varro, RR 1.2.19f; Pliny NH 8.204]

Another Greek norm only specifies “a year-old animal” (CGRN 146). The Latin Acts of the Arval Brethren are more consistent, always prescribing either one or two female cows (vacca or bos femina). Both in Greek and Latin soruces, when the offering was of a cow, the horns were sometimes directed to be gilded (this being the most lavish sacrifices).

In any case, regardless of whether it was commonly followed, the logic described by Arnobius holds as an ideal. A different ideal (probably intentionally more frugal) is proposed by an oracle of Apollon recorded by Porphyry; according to this, the proper sacrifice would be a bright bird (as for other celestial gods). The choice of animal appears unusual at least compared to the written sources (although in the kind of lower-scale ritual that did not get officially recorded, it might have been common), but that of color is not unexpected: “They gave red and white animals to the ethereal gods because of the color of ether and the purity of the nature of these; they sacrificed animals of the opposite color to the subterrestrial gods; and they gave multi-colored ones to the aerial gods” (Psellus, On Sacrificial Science).

Note that animal sacrifices can be replaced by using figurines made of dough or the like (cf. Philostratus, Life of Apollonius of Tyana 1.1).

Porph. Abst. 2.56.14

6 Sacred animals

inter sidera conlocatum a Minerva > stars and places

Hermogenes: τίνι θεῶν 7.57 ἀνάκειται, οἷον ἡ γλαῦξ τῇ Ἀθηνᾷ, ὁ ἵππος τῷ Ποσειδῶνι.

Porphyry, On Abstinence: ἀλλὰ μήποτε ἄτοπον ἐκ τῆς 3.5.20 εὐσυνέτου φθέγξεως ἢ μὴ ἢ τῆς σιγῆς καὶ φωνῆς τὸ λογικὸν κρίνειν καὶ τὸ ἄλογον· οὕτως γὰρ καὶ τὸν ἐπὶ πᾶσι θεὸν καὶ τοὺς ἄλλους τῷ μὴ φθέγγεσθαι φαίη ἄν τις μὴ εἶναι λογικούς. ἀλλ‘ οἵ γε θεοὶ σιγῶντες μηνύουσι, καὶ συνιᾶσιν αὐτῶν ὄρνιθες θᾶττον ἢ ἄν- 3.5.25 θρωποι καὶ συνέντες ἀπαγγέλλουσιν ὡς δύνανται καὶ τοῖς ἀνθρώποις εἰσὶ κήρυκες ἄλλοι ἄλλων θεῶν· Διὸς μὲν ἀετός, Ἀπόλλωνος δὲ ἱέραξ καὶ κόραξ, Ἥρας δὲ 3.5.28 πελαργός, Ἀθηνᾶς δὲ αὖ κρέξ τε καὶ γλαῦξ, ὡς Δή- μητρος γέρανος καὶ ἄλλων ἄλλοι.

sch av.1106.1 (γλαῦκες ὑμᾶς· Ἀντὶ τοῦ νομίσματα. ἡ γὰρ sch av.1106.2 γλαὺξ ὄρνεόν ἐστιν Ἀθηνᾶς. ὅπερ πάνυ τιμῶντες Ἀθη- ναῖοι διὰ τὴν θεὸν, ἐν τοῖς τετραδράχμοις ἐνεχάραξαν νομίσμασιν. αἰνίττεται δὲ καὶ εἰς τὸ φιλάργυρον τῶν sch av.1106.5 Ἀθηναίων. Ἄλλως. ἡ γλαὺξ ἐπὶ χαράγματος ἦν τετραδράχμου, ὡς Φιλόχορος. ἐκλήθη δὲ τὸ νόμισμα τὸ τετράδραχμον τότε ἡ γλαύξ. ἦν γὰρ γλαὺξ ἐπίση- μον καὶ πρόσωπον Ἀθηνᾶ, τῶν προτέρων διδράχμων ὄντων, ἐπίσημόν τε βοῦν ἐχόντων.) – ἐπεὶ ἐν Λαυρίῳ sch av.1106.10 μέταλλα ἦν ἀργυρίου Ἀθήνησι. V.

sch pac.39a.1 vet Tr <χὤτου ποτ‘ ἐστὶ> RLh: ἐπεὶ ἓν ἕκαστον τῶν ὀρνέων ἀνάκειται θεῷ τινι, sch pac.39a.2 ὡς ὁ ἀετὸς τῷ Διὶ RVLh καὶ ἡ γλαῦξ τῇ Ἀθηνᾷ. R

sch eq.1093.1 vet <ἐκ πόλεως ἐλθεῖν:> ἐκ τῆς ἀκροπόλεως. γλαῦξ δὲ ἱερὸν ὄρνεον sch eq.1093.2 Ἀθηνᾶς. ἐνετετύπωτο δὲ τῷ Ἀττικῷ νομίσματι.

7 Sacred plants

Minervae olea

From the Aesopic Fables of Phaedrus:

“Trees under the guardianship (tutela) of the gods.

“Once, the gods were selecting the trees
Which they wanted to be in their protection (tutela).
The oak pleased Jupiter, myrtle Venus and laurel Phoebus,
The pine Cybebe, the lofty poplar Hercules.
Minerva was surprised and asked why they took
Trees without fruit. Jupiter told the reason:
‘Lest we seem to give honor for gain.’ –
‘By Hercules, each may say what they will,
But the olive is more pleasing to me because of its fruit!’
Then as follows said the father of gods and creator of humans:
‘O daughter, rightly you are called wise by all!
If what we do is not useful, the glory is fatuous.’

“The fable admonishes us not to do anything that does not give a benefit.”

Poem on Herbs
herba argemon
parthenium vocari
inventio adsignatur Minervae

Geoponica 9.1, 11.6

Scholia on Odyssey: 13.372.1 τὼ δὲ καθεζομένω] οὗτοι δὲ ἡ Ἀθηνᾶ καὶ Ὀδυσσεὺς καθεζό- 13.372.2 μενοι. ἱερὰν δέ φησι τὴν ἐλαίαν διὰ τὸ ἀνακεῖσθαι αὐτὴν τῇ Ἀθηνᾷ, ὡς ἀναδοθεῖσαν αὐτὴν τῆς γῆς εἰς τὸ ταύτης ὄνομα, ὅτε οἱ θεοὶ συνη- δρίαζον καὶ εἰς ἑκάστου τὸ ὄνομα ἓν φυτὸν ἀνεδίδοτο, καθάπερ καὶ 13.372.5 τῷ Διονύσῳ ἡ ἄμπελος ἀνεβλάστησεν. Q.

Porphyry, On the Cave of the Nymphs: φύσει μὲν οὖν ἀειθαλεῖ ἡ ἐλαία συνέχεται ἀρωγὸν πόνων καρπὸν φέρουσα, ἀνάκειται δὲ τῇ Ἀθηνᾷ καὶ τοῖς ἀθληταῖς ἐξ αὐτῆς δίδοται νικήσασι στέφανος, καὶ ἀπ‘ αὐτῆς ἱκετηρία τοῖς δεομένοις. + plus context

Hermogenes: Καὶ μὴν καὶ τὰ φυτὰ παραπλησίως ἀπὸ τοῦ τόπου, ἐν ᾧ φύεται· ἀπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ, ᾧ ἀνάκειται, ὡς ἡ ἐλαία τῇ Ἀθηνᾷ· ἀπὸ τῆς τροφῆς, οἷον πῶς τρέφεται.

Artemidorus: ἐφι- λοσόφησεν εὐτόνως καὶ τοῖς λόγοις καὶ τῇ ἀσκήσει χρησά- μενος ἀκολούθως· καὶ γὰρ ἀειθαλὲς τὸ φυτὸν καὶ στερεὸν καὶ τῇ Ἀθηνᾷ ἀνάκειται.


8 Sacred stones

Damigeron, Orphica

Hymns: Proclus, two Homeric, Orphic, others?

Horapollon: vultures (Mut?)

stars & places: Proclus

Instead of, or alongside animals, loaves of bread were also offered to the goddess, as to other deities (CGRN 84, off-site link).


Greek inscrr.

Scholia on Iliad 2.550?

De Iside 354c, 363f. Herodotus? Themistius. Strabo. Diodorus. Origen. Stobaeus. kuria aqhna

Athena in Horus Apollon?

Athena Soteira Nike; Hygeia

“Minerva is a goddess over arms and weaving (armorum dea … et lanificii)” (Servius, On the Aeneid 7.805).

Derived from ‘Pallas’ is ‘Palladium’ (Palládion), the name for Athenaic statues said to have fallen from heaven. Such images were kept at Athens, Rome, and other cities.

Status: under construction