Thursday, August 14, 2008

Athena Parthenos

The goddess Athena.  Beloved of the ancient Greeks, she was wise protector, guardian, reflector of purity, a loving warrior.  This colossal statue was sculpted in her likeness using the equivalent of 2500 lbs of gold.  It is called the "Athena Parthenos" and gets its name from the temple she was housed in.  Many once believed the Parthenon was a singular structure on its own, but we now know it was made solely to house and display this great 50-foot likeness:
                
This gives a small idea of the proportions of the statue.  She holds the winged goddess of victory "Nike" in her right hand.  In Greek mythology Athena was said to be the most beloved daughter of Zeus, having been born fully formed from the top of his head.  Referred to in Homer's Iliad, she is a fierce warrior, ready to defend her city against any enemy.  In truth, she was a loving guardian, as any mother of man would be.  Athena was pure and wise, devoted to the arts, agriculture, civilized life and peace through intelligence. 
                     

The most common expression used for Athena is "the bright eyed" perhaps denoting wisdom (the owl was her favored creature).  Parthenos translates from Greek as "virgin" hence the name of her temple.  
              
This is The Parthenon which, at one brilliant time in history, protected and displayed this colossal statue.
                       
As fierce as she may have been depicted, Athena was one of the 3 virgin goddesses of Greek myth, and woe to anyone who questioned her purity!  This was what made her such a striking exception to Olympian society, where all gods were free to use mortals for their pleasure - as Zeus did repeatedly.
                             

This image strikes a familiar chord.  In tarot, I recall that certain figures were never depicted as seated.  Athena is one, although I cannot find a suitable counterpart in the Major Arcana (that smaller part of the deck showing attributes, rather than suits).  But who knows...? 

                           


   
                          

 
                                   

11 comments:

preciousone25 said...

Interesting.... never gave any of it much thought before.  good thinking entry.

Joann

naperdillygirl said...

Great entry, and great blog title.  So many choose to NOT think, especially before they speak.  If more folks took the time to actually do so they would find the world a more loving place to exist.  Thanks so much for taking the time to think, and then write! :) N.

jmorancoyle said...

    I know nothing about tarot. Athena has always been my favorite Greek goddess. Apridite (sp?) might have been the goddess of love, but it seems that most of the stories about her are about men and women making fools out of themselves because of her or Cupid. Although there isn't much on TV or printed about it, I've read a little about the restoration of the Parthenon and the difficulties involved. Thank God they are trying. It would be tragic to lose it.
Jude
http://journals.aol.com/jmorancoyle/MyWay

malagutigrrl said...

Nashville has a smaller scale replica of the Parthenon.  I have some beautiful pictures of it... I just wish I knew what file there were in...
xo
MJ

ma24179 said...

I have always found greek mythology interesting ....and that is a beautiful statue!.. -Missy

ksquester said...

And here I thought Nike was just a shoe.  You always make me quest for more.  Anne

coelha said...

I thought of the Nike shoe too!  LOL..  I know a few Greek woman--both of whom are named Athena.  It's a pretty name!  Julie

thegirlnexdoor77 said...

So what happened to the last entry...you never said what it meant..wishing you a good weekend..TerryAnn

luddie343 said...

Sorry Terry-Ann.  Check out 8/24 and 8/31.  I put things off till I just forget them lol - right-brainer.  

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