There is speculation as to whether Pallas Athena had a mother, but Zeus is undoubtedly her father as every account of her birth depicts her springing fully-grown and adorned in amour from his head. If she did have a mother it was Metis, swallowed by Zeus out of fear of her birthing a son mightier than himself.  

Like Ares, she was associated with war. However, where Ares was concerned with death and bloodshed, Athena was renowned for military prowess and strategy. The Greeks fighting the Trojans always rejoiced at her presence on the battlefield as told by the Iliad. A famous myth illustrates the competition between Athena and her uncle Poseidon for the benefactor position of the city of Athens. Poseidon struck open a rock with his trident to produce a spring—one that gushed forth salt water and was ultimately useless to the city. Athena granted the people an olive tree which became the most prized of all the trees of Greece and the city was hers. Her protection of the city coincided with her religious association with urban life and protection of handicrafts and agriculture.            

Athena was often described as ‘gray-eyed’ and the owl being her bird; features that became embodiments of wisdom, reason, and purity.