Homeric Hymn 39 to Athena

PallasAthena-Sarrabezolles sculptureTrocaderoGardens
Pallas Athena sculpted by Carlo Sarrabezolles, 1925 Trocadéro Gardens, Paris

“I begin to sing of Pallas Athena, the glorious goddess, bright-eyed, inventive, unbending of heart, pure virgin, saviour of cities, courageous, Tritogeneia.”


(Greek epic C. 7th to 4th B.C.)


“I begin to sing of Pallas Athena, the glorious goddess, bright-eyed, inventive, unbending of heart, pure virgin, saviour of cities, courageous, Tritogeneia. From his awful head wise Zeus himself bare her arrayed in warlike arms of flashing gold, and awe seized all the gods as they gazed. But Athena sprang quickly from the immortal head and stood before Zeus who holds the aegis, shaking a sharp spear: great Olympos began to reel horribly at the might of the grey-eyed goddess, and earth round about cried fearfully, and the sea was moved and tossed with dark waves, while foam burst forth suddenly: the bright Son of Hyperion [Helios the Sun] stopped his swift-footed horses a long while, until the maiden Pallas Athena had stripped the heavenly armour from her immortal shoulders. And wise Zeus was glad. Hail to you, daughter of Zeus who holds the aigis!”

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