Explore mythology and art with information about the classic stories of heroes and gods...from the myths of ancient Greece and Rome, to the legends of the Celts. Mythography presents resources and reference materials about mythology - including recommended books, and lexicons that explain Greek, Roman, and Celtic terms.

Gardner's Art Through the Ages

This book is the classic reference for the study of art. It features a history of artists and their works, as well as lucid and engaging descriptions of the styles and periods of art history. Highly recommended for both students and scholars.

Aphrodite in Art
Aphrodite in Myth
Art Themes

home | greek | gods | olympians | Athena | page 2

Athena and the Contest for Athens

Athena : Page 1, 2

Another myth that reveals Athena's nature and importance is found in the story of her contest with Poseidon for the city of Athens. According to the legend, both deities wanted Athens as the site of their primary sanctuary. In order to settle the duel in his favor, Poseidon created a spring from which salt water flowed. However, Athena responded by conjuring up an olive tree on the Athenian Acropolis, and this second divine gift was judged by the people to be the more useful (and indeed, Greeks both ancient and modern are credited with the cultivation of some of the best olives in the world). This contest was immortalized on that magnificent Athenian monument, the Parthenon, a temple that was dedicated to the goddess Athena. The myth appeared on one of the pediments of the temple, while the birth of the goddess was depicted on the other.

More Myths of Athena

Myths of Athena and her interactions with mortals are quite numerous in Greek literature, poetry, drama, and art. One intriguing example is the tale of Arachne and her challenge to the goddess who was considered the patron of crafts. The story itself demonstrates the ancient Greek belief that one ought not compare oneself with the gods, lest a deity should suddenly materialize and punish the offending mortal. This comparison to the gods even had a term: it was hubris, which means, roughly, excessive pride. There are indeed many other stories in Greek mythology in which a human is punished by the gods for his or her arrogance, including several that involve Athena herself. For it appears that even the gods were not immune to those human traits of envy, desire, and jealousy. One of the myths that illustrates this fact well deals with the ill-fated Medusa, who claimed that she was more beautiful than Athena. Bad idea, Medusa....

Athena in Art History

Gallery | For pictures and information about Athena in art, visit the Mythography gallery!

Who's Who in Classical Mythology

Who's Who in Classical Mythology

This book is a great source for information about Greek and Roman mythology! Organized alphabetically, this who's who features information about over 1200 of the most intriguing characters from Classical myth and legend.

Bulfinch's Mythology

Bulfinch's Mythology

The stories of Classical myth come to life in Bulfinch's book. This edition also features legends from other cultures.

Mythography Forums

Mythography Forums

Do you have a specific question about Greek, Roman, and Celtic mythology? Then try the Mythography forum!