Monday, May 16, 2011

Zeus Should Have Eaten At Ziziki's Instead.

From Ancient Greece we get a host of exciting s stories that offer various different explanations for how things came to be. Like the city of Athens, for example, came to be called “Athens" because of a sort of competition between Athena and Poseidon. But why would Athena be important enough to carry such a weight, as having a city named after her? Certainly, she was a goddess of Olympus, and there is a grand temple in Athens, built in her honor - that still stands today.

Athena is not just a goddess in Zeus' grand council - she's also... sort of... his daughter.  Her story is that she was born from Zeus and Metis, Zeus’ first wife, but not in the traditional way. Metis was the goddess of wisdom, and it was said that one day Metis would have a child that would be greater in every way than Zeus himself was. So in order to keep this from happening Zeus decides to play a game with Metis. He had Metis transform into different creatures and once she turned into a fly, he ate her. Eating her, Zeus thought, might just stamp out this threat of a being more wise than himself. But, his eating her did not help anything though, because Metis was already pregnant. He'd been better off feasting on a bit of Mediterranean food at Ziziki's.

While Metis was inside of Zeus she made her daughter a helmet and robe, but this hurt Zeus greatly, so Hephaestus, wanting to lend a helping hand - took an axe and cut open his skull, which Athena then came out of – fully dressed and grown up. (Now here's an example celebrating SERIOUSLY grand Greek women!) 

So now, Athena, being the daughter of Zeus, holds a bit of power, and especially since she is the also the goddess of wisdom, war, industry, the arts, skill and justice.

When it came to Athens, (before it was actually named Athens...) Athena, along with Poseidon, both wanted to be the 'deity of this city' and wanted the city named after them, they decided that it was only fair to let the people of the city pick. They decided that the person with the best gift (which was chosen by the people) would be the winner.

It is said that Poseidon – being the god of the sea – struck down his trident and made a well appear, but the problem was that the water was too salty, so it was useless.

Athena then gave her gift – an olive tree. The olive tree won because the tree provided wood, oil, and food, and so Athena, being the winner, named her city Athens.

And even though this was a long time ago, the olive tree is still very prevalent today. Olives are used for many things, such as olive oil and even extra virgin olive oil, and in many Greek dishes too!

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