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Athena is the Greek goddess of wisdom, strategy, war and travel. She is one of the Twelve Olympians. Athena's symbol is the owl, the wisest of the birds. She also had a breastplate called Aegis, which was a present given to her by Zeus. She is often shown with her helmet on and with her shield, which has Medusa's head on it. This was a present to her from Perseus.
Athena is the protector of Athens, Greece, a city named after her. The Parthenon, which is on the Acropolis in Athens, is her most famous temple. She also helped many heroes, including Heracles, Jason, and Odysseus, and is always seen with Nike, the goddess of victory.
There are many stories about Athena's birth. In Hesiod's Theogony, Zeus had sexual intercourse with Metis, but Zeus was scared of Metis giving birth to a child because the Oracle of Delphi had said that she will give birth to Athena, and a son that would overthrow Zeus, just like Zeus overthrowing Cronus. To stop Metis giving birth to the son of hers, Zeus swallowed her whole when she turned herself into a fly, during when Zeus and Metis was playing a game. However, Zeus was too late, as Metis was already pregnant.
While she was inside Zeus's head, Metis made a helmet, armor, and a robe for Athena. The hammering noise caused Zeus to have a major headache. To help Zeus in pain, Hephaestus cut his head open with a Minoan axe. Athena then came out of Zeus's head. She was fully grown and had her armor on.
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