Athena's Birth

Athena's birth wasn't the usual or ordinary birth. It is said that she was born from Zeus's head. Zeus swallowed his wife, (who was pregnant with Athena) because he was afraid that he would be overthrown by her in the future. He was having a horrible headache, so finally he asked Hephaestus to make him an ax that would be used to split his head open. Hephaestus agreed. Zeus's head was split open, and out walked Athena, the Goddess of wisdom, as a grown woman, in armor. This is the story of Athena's birth.

The City of Athens

Athena's favorite city was the city of Athens. It was named after her and she competed with Poseidon to see who would be the God of the city. It was built between 447 and 432 B.C. Athena and her uncle, Poseidon both claimed the city as theirs, so they decided whoever gave the people a better gift would be God of the city. Poseidon gave the people water, but it was as salty as the sea, so it didn't help the people very much. Athena, however, gave the people an olive tree. This was better than the water because it gave them wood, oil, and food. Athena was favored more than Poseidon, so that made her the God of that city. 

Athena and Arachne

Athena believed that she was the best weaver in the  world. There was another weaver, Arachne who believed that she was a better weaver than Athena, and thought that if they were in a contest together, she would win. Athena heard about that and was furious that someone thought they were better than her, the Goddess of weaving. Athena disguised herself and went to Arachne's house. Arachne agreed to be in a weaving contest with this stranger, and when they were finished, Athena's design showed all twelve Gods and Goddesses, but Arachne's design showed not only the twelve Gods and Goddesses, but also each one of their adventures. It was obvious that Arachne had the better blanket, so it was proved Arachne was a better weaver than Athena. Athena was very mad after this, so she turned Arachne into a spider. This story explains why the spiders have the ability to make spider webs. Arachne was turned into a spider, however, she still could weave and make webs.