2Robert re: Athena's birth / message 4U from Hesiod!

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Posted by Cricket on 12/30/01 - 11:35:38
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12/29 you wrote:  "I see...Athena's motherless birth to mean there resides in man so-called feminine characteristics like wisdom."

I thought you put this beautifully.  Look who I found agreeing with you...

This is Hesiod (debatably Homer's contemporary), from his "Theogony":

"Zeus, as King of the gods,
took as his first wife Metis,
and she knew more than all the gods
or mortal people.
But when she was about to be delivered
of the goddess, gray-eyed
Athene, then Zeus, deceiving her perception
by treachery
and by slippery speeches,
put her away inside his own belly.
This was by the advices of Gaia,
and starry Ouranos,
for so they counseled,
in order that no other everlasting
god, besides Zeus, should ever be given
the kingly position.
For it had been arranged that, from her,
children surpassing in wisdom
should be born, first the gray-eyed girl,
the Tritogeneia
Athene; and she is the equal of her father
in wise counsel
and strength; but then a son to be King
over gods and mortals
was to be born of her, and his heart
would be overmastering:
but before this, Zeus put her away
inside his own belly
so that this goddess should think for him,
for good and for evil.
Last of all, Zeus took Hera
to be his fresh consort,
and she, lying in the arms
of the father of gods and mortals,
conceived and bore Hebe to him, and Ares,
and Eileithyia.
Then from his head, by himself,
he produced Athene of the gray eyes,
great goddess, weariless,
waker of battle noise, leader of armies,
a goddess queen who delights in war cries,
onslaughts, and battles,
while Hera, without any act of love,
brought forth glorious
Hephaistos, for she was angered
and quarreling with her husband;
and Hephaistos in arts and crafts
surpasses all the Ouranians."

Hesiod, "Theogony", lines 887-901; 922-934.
(trans: R. Lattimore)

I also liked your comment about these myths having been distorted both by patriarchy & matriarchy, and it being "time to start another story."   YES!!
(Both as you meant it & also as in our requests to PK for new as well as old material.)

p.s. thanks, PK, for getting us going on this --
Nice exhange, Robert!


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