Subtle flex: going to the Acropolis to learn about Athena. One of the courses I’m taking is called “Greek Mythology and Religion.” Briefly, it deals with the myths of Ancient Greece, puts them into perspective with the ancient Greeks, and analyzes their reception and possible relationships with our mortal world today. It’s quite an enjoyable course, especially while studying in Athens.
If you don’t know, Athens is named after the goddess Athena, a virgin warrior goddess known also for her wisdom and craft. She is the namesake of Athens following a contest with Poseidon. For those dwelling in the area (soon to be known as Athens), Poseidon produced a spring, but it was salty; Athena produced the olive tree, bearing a multitude of fruits and gifts for the mortals. As you can guess, Athena won this contest. Thus, Athens received its name.
In the discourse surrounding the goddess, Athena is also known as Parthenos (Παρθένος): virgin. Like the other goddesses, Artemis and Hestia, she was to remain a virgin. If you didn’t know, now it might make more sense how the Parthenon got its name. During our lecture on Athena, the Parthenon, and Athens, we had the opportunity to learn more about the relationship between Athena and the ancient Athenians. We also discussed our opinions and thoughts on the modern implications of this relationship.
I chose to study abroad in one of the places from where my Classics major comes for several different reasons (which I can elaborate on in the future). Of course, being in the spot where the Athenians lived, learned, and worshiped is close to the top. I’d take a lecture on the Acropolis over being in the classroom any day. I feel grateful to be able to learn about the illustrious Athena and her temple while being in its very presence.