For the fictional American space shuttle, see Athena (shuttle).

Greco-Roman Deity
Pantheon: Ancient Greek
God of: Artist, Divine intelligence, Judge, Warfare
Parents: Zeus and Metis
Spouse: None
Relatives: Poseidon (uncle), Hera (aunt/step-mother), Hermes, Perseus, Dionysus, Hercules (half-brothers)
Turtledove Appearances:
"Goddess for a Day"
Set in OTL
Type of Appearance: Direct (voice only)

In Ancient Greek mythology, Athena was the shrewd companion of Heroes and the Goddess of Heroic endeavor. She was also the goddess of wisdom. She remained the patroness of weaving especially and other crafts (Athena Ergane) and the more disciplined side of war, where she led the battle (Athena Promachos). Her perpetual virginity was acknowledged in the title Athena Parthenos. The city of Athens was allegedly named for her (although the truth may be vice versa), and her temple the Parthenon was built on its Acropolis in the mid 5th century BC. The Romans identified her with the goddess Minerva.

Athena in "Goddess for a Day"[]

The tyrannos Peisistratos managed to regain control of Athens by claiming Athena personally supported him. He then had a woman named Phye dress as Athena and escort him into the city. The crowds believed that Phye was Athena, and Peisistratos was welcomed back by the people of Athens.[1]

Later that night, while Phye was waiting in the temple on the Akropolis, she was accosted by a satyr named Marsyas, who believed her to be the true Athena, and attempted to rape her. Phye kneed Marsyas in the groin, driving him away. Phye believed she heard a female voice say "That was well done."[2]

Athena in A World of Difference[]

The fourth planet from the Sun was named Athena by the ancient Greeks, after their goddess of wisdom. The Romans called the same planet Minerva, after Athena's counterpart in their mythology.[3]

The Americans named their first manned vessel to travel to the planet after Athena.


  1. See, e.g., Counting Up, Counting Down, pg. 288-289.
  2. Ibid., pgs. 295-297.
  3. A World of Difference, p. 1.