ATHENA was the Olympian goddess of the defense of towns and the crafts of weaving, pottery and sculpture.
This page lists her many cult titles.
CULT TITLES & EPITHETS
The first of Athena's cult titles refer to her various divine functions, as goddess of war, defender of cities, goddess of work, crafts, healing and health, cunning and plans, refuge and hospitality, eyesight, and maidenhood:--
Of War, Warlike
Distributor of War Booty
Girder in Armour
Of Strength, Strong
Of the Horses
Bridler (of Horses)
Of the City
Keeper of the City
Champion of the Anchorage
Of Good Health
Escape (to Refuge)
Counsellor, Of Counsel
Of Deception, Deciever
Contriver (of Plans and Devices)
Of the Eyes
Of the Head
Born of the Head
Of Hospitality, Of the Foreigner
Another set of cult titles derived from the towns and places where her shrines were located, as well as the names of cult-founders, descriptions of their locale, and stories behind a cult:--
Of Sunium (Attica)
Of Sciras (Salamis)
Of Nedon (Messenia)
Of Cyparissiae (Messenia)
Of Hipplas (Laconia)
Of Scillus (Elis)
Of Larisus R. (Achaea)
Of All Achaea
Of Alalcomenae (Boeotia)
Of Alalcomenae (Boeotia)
Of Tritonis R. (Boeotia)
Of Itonus (Thessaly)
Of Cydonia (Crete)
Of Lindos (Rhodes)
Of Telchinia (Cyprus)
Of Ilios (Troy)
Of Ajax (hero Salamis)
Of Sciron (hero Salamis)
Of Narcaeus (hero Elis)
Of Aleus (hero Arcadia)
Of Itonus (hero Boeotia)
Of the Market-Place
Of the Bronze House
Of the Gannet Colony
Of the Fore-Temple
Of the Growing Ivy
Of the Cypress Grove
Of the Winds
Of the Road
Of Asia (Asia Minor)
Of the Edible Tubers
The meanings of some of her titles remain obscure:--
Athena was also named after several foreign godesses with whom she was identified, namely the Egyptian goddess Neith of the town of Saïs and the Phoenician goddess Onga:--
Of Saïs (Egyptian)
Of Saïs (Egyptian)
Some general terms pertaining to the goddess' cult include:--
Temple of Athena
Festival of Athena
All Athenian Festival *
Festival of the Bronzes *
Thanksgiving Festival *
Washing-Day Festival *
Parasol Festival *
Preliminary Sacrifices *
Festival of Athena Alea **
Capture Festival **
All-Boeotian Festival ***
Festival of Athena Itonia ****
* Festivals of Athena in Athens.
** Festivals of Tegea in Arkadia.
*** Festival of Coronea in Boeotia.
**** Festival of Itonus in Thessaly.
POETIC TITLES & EPITHETS
This list has yet to be compiled.
I. Common Homeric titles of Athena. Including Pallas, Tritogeneia, etc
II. Common Homeric epithets of Athena.
III. Other poetic titles titles included:--
Destroyer of Giants
Destroyer of Giants
Suidas s.v. Pallas (trans. Suda On Line) (Byzantine Greek lexicon C10th A.D.) :
"Pallas : A great virgin. It is an epithet of Athena; from brandishing (pallein) the spear, or from having killed Pallas, one of the Gigantes."
Suidas s.v. Gigantiai :
"[Titles of the gods :] Gigantoleteira, she who destroyed the Giants; also Gigantoletis, likewise feminine. Also Gigantoletor [Giant-destroyer]."
Suidas s.v. Gorgolophas :
"Gorgolophas (Gorgon-crested) : She who has a helmet of the head of the Gorgon, [that is] Athena."
Suidas s.v. Hippeia Athene :
"Hippeia Athene (Athena-of-Horses) : They say she is a daughter of Poseidon and Polyphe, daughter of Okeanos; she was the first to use a chariot and was called 'of-Horses' because of this."
ENCYCLOPEDIA ATHENA TITLES
ACHAEA (Achaia), a surname of Minerva worshipped at Luceria in Apulia where the donaria and the arms of Diomedes were preserved in her temple. (Aristot. Mirab. Narrat. 17.)
ACRAEA (Akraia). Acraea and Acraeus are also attributes given to various goddesses and gods whose temples were situated upon hills, such as Zeus, Hera, Aphrodite, Pallas, Artemis, and others. (Paus. i. 1. § 3, ii. 24. § 1; Apollod. i. 9. § 28; Vitruv. i. 7; Spanheim, ad Callim. Hymn in Jov. 82.)
AETHYIA (Aithuia), a surname of Athena, under which she was worshipped in Megaria. (Paus. i. 5. § 3; 41. § 6; Lycophr. Cass. 359.) The word aithuia signifies a diver, and figuratively a ship, so that the name must have reference to the goddess teaching the art of ship-building or navigation. (Tzetz. ad Lycophr. l. c.)
AGELEIA or AGELE′IS (Ageleia or Agelêïs), a surname of Athena, by which she is designated as the leader or protectress of the people. (Hom. Il. iv. 128, v. 765, vi. 269, xv. 213, Od. iii. 378, &c.)
AGORAEA and AGORAEUS (Agoraia and Agoraios), are epithets given to several divinities who were considered as the protectors of the assemblies of the people in the agora, such as Zeus (Paus. iii. 11. § 8, v. 15. § 3), Athena (iii. 11. § 8), Artemis (v. 15. § 3), and Hermes. (i. 15. § 1, ii. 9. § 7, ix. 17. § 1.)
ALALCOMENE′IS (Alalkomenêïs), a surname of Athena, derived from the hero Alalcomenes, or from the Boeotian village of Alalcomenae, where she was believed to have been born. Others derive the name from the verb alalkein, so that it would signify the "powerful defender." (Hom. Il. iv. 8; Steph. Byz. s. v. Alalkomenion ; Müller, Orchom. p. 213.)
ALCIS (Alkis), that is, the Strong. A surname of Athena, under which she was worshipped in Macedonia. (Liv. xlii. 51.)
A′LEA (Alea), a surname of Athena, under which she was worshipped at Alea, Mantineia. and Tegea. (Paus. viii. 23. § 1, 9. § 3, ii. 17. § 7.) The temple of Athena Alea at Tegea, which was the oldest, was said to have been built by Aleus, the son of Apheidas, from whom the goddess probably derived this surname. (Paus. viii. 4. § 5.) This temple was burnt down in B. C. 394, and a new one built by Scopas, which in size and splendour surpassed all other temples in Peloponnesus, and was surrounded by a triple row of columns of different orders. The statue of the goddess, which was made by Endoeus all of ivory, was subsequently carried to Rome by Augustus to adorn the Forum Augusti. (Paus. viii. 45. § 4, 46 § 1 and 2, 47. § 1.) The temple of Athena Alea at Tegea was an ancient and revered asylum, and the names of many persons are recorded who saved themselves by seeking refuge in it. (Paus. iii. 5. § 6, ii. 17. § 7, iii. 7. § 8.) The priestess of Athena Alea at Tegea was always a maiden, who held her office only until she reached the age of puberty. (Paus. viii. 47. § 2.) Respecting the architecture and the scultures of this temple, see Meyer, Gesch. der bildend. Künste, ii. p. 99, &c. On the road from Sparta to Therapne there was likewise a statue of Athena Alea. (Paus. iii. 19. § 7.)
AMBU′LIA, AMBU′LII, and AMBU′LIUS (Amboulia, Amboulioi, and Amboulios), surnames under which the Spartans worshipped Athena, the Dioscuri, and Zeus. (Paus. iii. 13. § 4.) The meaning of the name is uncertain, but it has been supposed to be derived from anaballô, and to designate those divinities as the delayers of death.
ANEMO′TIS (Anemôtis), the subduer of the winds, a surname of Athena under which she was worshipped and had a temple at Mothone in Messenia. It was believed to have been built by Diomedes, because in consequence of his prayers the goddess had subdued the storms which did injury to the country. (Paus. iv. 35. § 5.)
APATU′RIA (Apatouria or Apatouros), that is, the deceitful. A surname of Athena, which was given to her by Aethra. (Paus. ii. 33. § 1.)
AREIA (Areia), the warlike. A surname of Athena, under which she was worshipped at Athens. Her statue, together with those of Ares, Aphrodite, and Enyo, stood in the temple of Ares at Athens. (Paus. i. 8. § 4.) Her worship under this name was instituted by Orestes after he had been acquitted by the Areiopagus of the murder of his mother. (i. 28. § 5.) It was Athena Areia who gave her casting vote in cases where the Areiopagites were equally divided. (Aeschyl. Eum. 753.) From these circumstances, it has been inferred, that the name Areia ought not to be derived from Ares, but from ara, a prayer, or from areô or areskô, to propitiate or atone for.
A′SIA (Asia). A surname of Athena in Colchis. Her worship was believed to have been brought from thence by Castor and Polydeuces to Laconia, where a temple was built to her at Las. (Paus. iii. 24. § 5.)
ASSE′SIA (Assêsia), a surname of Athena, derived from the town of Assesus in Ionia, where she had a temple. (Herod. i. 19.)
AXIOPOENOS (Axiopoinos), the avenger, a surname of Athena. Under this name Heracles built a temple to the goddess at Sparta, after he had chastised Hippocoon and his sons for the murder of Oeonus. (Paus. iii. 15. § 4.)
CHALCIOECUS (Chalkioikos), "the goddess of the brazen house," a surname of Athena at Sparta, derived from the brazen temple which the goddess had in that city, and which also contained her statue in brass. This temple, which continued to exist in the time of Pausanias, was believed to have been commenced by Tyndareus, but was not completed till many years later by the Spartan artist Gitiadas. (Paus. iii. 17. § 3, x. 5. § 5; C. Nep. Paus. 5; Polyb. iv. 22.) Respecting the festival of the Chalcioecia celebrated at Sparta, see Dict. of Ant. s. v. Chalkioikia.
CHALINI′TIS (Chalinitis), the tamer of horses by means of the bridle (Chalinos), a surname of Athena, under which she had a temple at Corinth. In order to account for the name, it is related, that she tamed Pegasus and gave him to Bellerophontes, although the general character of the goddess is sufficient to explain the surname. (Paus. ii. 4. § 1.)
CORYPHA′SIA (Koruphasia), a surname of Athena, derived from the promontory of Coryphasion, on which she had a sanctuary. (Paus. iv. :3. § 2.)
CYDO′NIA (Kudônia), a surname of Athena, under which she had a temple at Phrixa in Elis, which was said to have been built by Clymenus of Cydonia. (Paus. vi. 21. § 5.)
E′RGANE (Erganê) or E′RGATIS, that is, the worker, a surname of Athena, who was believed to preside over and instruct man in all kinds of arts. (Paus. v. 14. § 5, i. 24. § 3; Plut. de Fort. p. 99, a.; Hesych. s. v.)
HELLO′TIA or HELLO′TIS (Ellôtia or Hellôtis), a surname of Athena at Corinth. According to the scholiast on Pindar (Ol. xiii. 56), the name was derived from the fertile marsh (helos) near Marathon, where Athena had a sanctuary; or from Hellotia, one of the daughters of Timander, who fled into the temple of Athena when Corinth was burnt down by the Dorians, and was destroyed in the temple with her sister Eurytione. Soon after, a plague broke out at Corinth, and the oracle declared that it should not cease until the souls of the maidens were propitiated, and a sanctuary should be erected to Athena Hellotis. Respecting the festival of the Hellotia, see Dict. of Ant. s. v. Hellotis was also a surname of Europe in Crete, where also a festival, Hellotia, was celebrated to her. (Dict. of Ant. s. v.)
HI′PPIA and HI′PPIUS (Hippia and Hippios, or Hippeios), in Latin Equester and Equestris, occur as surnames of several divinities, as of Hera (Paus. v. 15. § 4); of Athena at Athens, Tegea and Olympia (i. 30. § 4, 31. § 3, v. 15. § 4, viii. 47. § ); of Poseidon (vi. 20. § 8, i. 30. § 4; Liv. i. 9); of Ares (Paus. v. 15. § 4); and at Rome also of Fortuna and Venus. (Liv. xl. 40, xlii. 3; Serv. ad Aen. i. 724.)
HIPPOLAITIS (Hippolaitis), a surname of Athena at Hippola in Laconia. (Paus. iii. 25. § 6.)
IASO′NIA (Iasonia), a surname of Athena at Cyzicus. (Apollon. Rhod. i. 960; comp. Müller, Orchom. p. 282, 2d edit.)
ITO′NIA, ITO′NIAS, or ITO′NIS (Itônia, Itônias, or Itônis), a surname of Athena, derived from the town of Iton, in the south of Phthiotis. (Paus. i. 13. § 2; Plut. Pyrrh. 26; Polyb. iv. 25 ; Strab. ix. p. 435; Steph. Byz. s. v.; Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod. i. 551, ad Callim. Hymn. in Cer. 75.) The goddess there had a celebrated sanctuary and festivals, and is hence also called incola Itoni. (Catull. Epithal. P. et Th. 228.) From Iton her worship spread into Boeotia and the country about lake Copais, where the Pamboeotia was celebrated, in the neighbourhood of a temple and grove of Athena. (Paus. ix. 34. § 1; iii. 9, in fin.; Plut. Amat. Narr. 4.) According to another tradition, Athena received the surname of Itonia from Itonus, a king or priest. (Paus. ix. 34. § 1; Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod. i. 721.)
LA′PHRIA (Laphraia) Laphria was a surname of Athena. (Lycoph. 356.)
LARISSAEA (Larissaia), surname of Athena, who derived it from the river Larissus, between Elis and Achaia, where the goddess had a sanctuary. (Paus. vii. 17. §3.)
LI′NDIA (Lindia), a surname of Athena, derived from the town of Lindus, in the island of Rhodus, where she had a celebrated temple. (Diod. v. 58; Herod. ii. 182; Strab. xiv. p. 655).
LONGA′TIS (Longatis), a surname of Athena (Lycoph. 520, 1032), which according to Tzetzes (ad Lycoph. l. c.), she derived from her being worshipped in a Boeotian district called Longas, which however is unknown.
MAGA′RSIA (Magarsia or Magarsis). a surname of Athena, derived from Magarsos, a Cilician town near the mouth of the river Pyramus, where the goddess had a sanctuary. (Arrian, Anab. ii. 5.)
[MECHANITIS and] MECHANEUS (Mêchaneus), skilled in inventing, was a surname of Zeus at Argos (Paus. ii. 22, § 3). The feminine form, Mechanitis (Mêchanitis), occurs as a surname of Aphrodite, at Megalopolis, and of Athena. in the same neighbourhood. (Paus. viii. 31, § 3, 36, § 3.)
[NARCAEA and] NARCAEUS (Narkaios), a son of Dionysus and Narcaea, established a sanctuary of Athena Narcaea in Elis, and also introduced there the worship of Dionysus. (Paus. v. 16. § 5.)
NEDU′SIA (Nedousia), a surname of Athena, under which she had a sanctuary on the river Nedon (from which she derived the name), and another at Poieessa in the island of Cos. The latter was said to have been founded by Nestor on his return from Troy, and to have derived its name from Nedon, a place in Laconia. (Strab. viii. p. 360, x. p. 487; Steph. Byz. s. v. Nedôn.)
NICE (Nikê). Nice also occurs as a surname of Athena, under which the goddess had a sanctuary on the acropolis of Megara. (Paus. i. 42. § 4; Eurip. Ion, 1529.)
ONCA (Onka), a surname of Athena, which she derived from the town of Oncae in Boeotia, where she had a sanctuary. (Aeschyl. Sept. 166, 489; Paus. ix. 12. § 2; Schol. ad Eurip. Phoen. 1062.)
PAEO′NIA (Paiônia), i. e. the healing goddess, was a surname of Athena, under which she had a statue at Athens, and an altar in the temple of Amphiaraus at Oropus. (Paus. i. 2. § 4, 34. § 2.)
PALLA′NTIAS. Pallantias occurs as a variation for Pallas, the surname of Athena. (Anthol. Palat. vi. 247.)
PALLAS (Pallas), a surname of Athena. In Homer this name always appears united with the name Athena, as Pallas Athênê or Pallas Athênaiê ; but in later writers we also find Pallas alone instead of Athena. (Pind. Ol. v. 21.) Plato (Cratyl. p. 406) derives the surname from pallein, to brandish, in reference to the goddess brandishing the spear or aegis, whereas Apollodorus (i. 6. § 2) derives it from the giant Pallas, who was slain by Athena. But it is more probable that Pallas is the same word as pallax, i. e. a virgin or maiden. (Comp. Tzetz. ad Lyc. 355.) Another female Pallas, described as a daughter of Triton, is mentioned under Palladium.
PALLE′NIS (Pallênis), a surname of Athena, under which she had a temple between Athens and Marathon. (Herod. i. 62.)
PANACHAEA (Panachaia),that is, the goddess of all the Achaeans, occurs as a surname of Demeter, at Aegae, in Achaia (Paus. vii. 24. § 2), and of Athena at Laphiria (Paus. vii. 20. § 2).
PAREIA (Pareia), a surname of Athena, under which she had a statue in Laconia, perhaps so called only from its being made of Parian marble. (Paus. iii. 20. § 8.)
PA′RTHENOS (Parthenos), i. e. the virgin, a surname of Athena at Athens, where the famous temple Parthenon was dedicated to her. (Paus. i. 24, v. ii. § 5, viii. 41. § 5, x. 34, in fin.)
PHRY′GIA (Phrugia) Phrygia is also used . . . as a surname of Athena (Minerva) on account of the Palladium which was brought from Phrygia. (Ov. Met. xiii. 337; compare Apollod. iii. 12. § 3.)
PO′LIAS (Polias), i.e. "the goddess protecting the city," a surname of Athena at Athens, where she was especially worshipped as the protecting divinity of the acropolis. (Paus. i. 27. § I; Arnob. adv. Gent. vi. 193.)
POLIU′CHOS (Poliouchos), i.e. "protecting the city," occurs as a surname of several divinities, such as Athena Chalcioecus at Sparta. (Paus. iii. 17. § 2), and of Athena at Athens.
PROMACHORMA (Promachorma), i.e. "the protectress of the bay," was a surname of Athena, under which she had a sanctuary on mount Buporthmos near Hermione. (Paus. ii. 34. § 9.)
PRONAEA (Pronaia), a surname of Athena, under which she had a chapel at Delphi, in front of the temple of Apollo. (Herod. i. 92; Aeschyl. Eum. 21; Paus. ix. 10. § 2.) Pronaus also occurs as a surname of Hermes. (Paus. l. c.)
SAITIS (Saitis), a surname of Athena, under which she had a sanctuary on Mount Pontinus, near Lerna in Argolis. (Paus. ii. 36 in fin. ; comp. Herod. ii. 175; Tzetz. ad Lycoph. 111.) The name was traced by the Greeks to the Egyptians, among whom Athena was said to have been called Sais.
SCIRAS (Skiras), a surname of Athena, under which she had a temple in the Attic port of Phaleron, and in the island of Salamis (Paus. i. 1. § 4; Herod. viii. 94). In the month of Scirophorion a festival was celebrated at Athens in honour of her, which was called Skiraphoria (Harpocr. s. v. Skiron). The foundation of the temple at Phaleron is ascribed by Pausanias to a soothsayer, Scirus of Dodona, who is said to have come to Attica at the time when the Eleusinians were at war with king Erechtheus. (Paus. i. 36. § 3 ; comp. Strab. ix. p. 393; Steph. Byz. s. v. Skiros.)
SOTEIRA (Sôteira), i. e. "the saving goddess' (Lat. Sospita), occurs as a surname of several female divinities in Greece, e. g. 1. of Artemis . . . 2. of Persephone in Laconia (iii. 13. § 2), in Arcadia (viii. 31. § 1) ; 3. of Athena (Schol. ad Plat. p. 90. ed. Ruhnken ; Aristot. Rhet. iii. 18); and 4. of Eunomia (Pind. Ol. ix. 25.)
TRITO or TRITOGENEIA (Tritô or Tritogeneia and Tritogenês), a surname of Athena (Hom. Il. iv. 515, Od. iii. 378; Hes. Theog. 924), which is explained in different ways. Some derive it from lake Tritonis in Libya, near which she is said to have been born (Eurip. Ion. 872 ; Apollod. i. 3. § 6; comp. Herod. iv. 150, 179); others from the stream Triton near Alalcomenae in Boeotia, where she was worshipped, and where according to some statements she was also born (Paus. ix. 33. § 4; comp. Horn. Il. iv. 8); the grammarians, lastly, derive the name from tritô which, in the dialect of the Athamanians, is said to signify "head," so that it would be the goddess born out of the head of her father. (Schol. ad Apollon. Rhod. iv. 1310; comp. Hom. Hymn. 28. 4 ; Hes. Theog. 924.)
TRITO′NIS (Tritônis). A surname of Athena, like Tritogeneia and Tritonia. (Apollon. Rhod. i. 72, 109; Virg. Aen. ii. 171.)
XE′NIA (Xenia), and the masculine Xenios are epithets of Athena and Zeus, describing then as presiding over the laws of hospitality, and protecting strangers. (Lat. Hospitalis ; Paus. iii. 11, in fin.; Hom. Od. xiv. 389; Cic. ad Q. Frat. ii. 12.)
ZOSTE′RIA (Zôstêria), a surname of Athena among the Epicnemidian Locrians. (Steph. Byz. s. v. Zôstêr; comp. Herod. viii. 107.) The masculine form Zosterius occurs as a surname of Apollo in Attica, on the slip of land stretching into the sea between Phaleron and Sunium. (Steph. Byz. l. c.)
Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.
- Pausanias, Description of Greece - Greek Travelogue C2nd A.D.
- Suidas, The Suda - Byzantine Greek Lexicon C10th A.D.
See Cult of Athena pages.