Hey, welcome back to the blog! I’m so sorry for the delay due to exams and stuff, so I’ll try to be regular from now on. 😛
Okay, so in the previous post I wrote about the myth regarding the birth of the first Olympians (Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Hestia, Demeter, and Hera). Well, as promised, in this post I’ll present the myths of the birth of the other main Olympian gods, like Athena and Hephaestus. But if you know anything about Greek mythology, it’s that there are a lot of different versions concerning a single myth and I will be going along with the version I’ve read about the most. Also due to the Olympian Pantheon consisting of 13 Divine Beings, I will be posting about this topic in another 2-3 parts.
In this post, I’m going to tell you how my favorite Greek goddess, Athena, and the god of wine, Dionysus, were born.
Starting off with Dionysus, he was the only God to have a mortal parent. Basically, he was originally a Demigod. His mother was Semele, daughter of Cadmus of Thebes, and his father was Zeus. Now as Hera was Zeus‘s wife, she frequently became very jealous of his affairs with mortal women and vented her rage towards Zeus, on them. Seems kind of unfair to the mortals, but well, gods are gods.
So naturally, when Hera found out about Dionysus, she got pretty pissed. She disguised herself as an old widow and approached Semele, who confesses to her that her baby’s father was actually Zeus. Hera very cunningly placed a series of thoughts into Semele‘s mind, which made her doubt the authenticity of Zeus.
So one night, Semele asked Zeus to swear on the River Styx (A binding oath, bad things happen when it breaks). Zeus swore, and Semele asked him to reveal his true form. Zeus knew that on mortals disintegrate when they look upon a god’s true form, but since he had sworn an oath on the Styx, he had to reveal his true form. Semele was instantly incinerated (a god’s true form is too much to process for mortals) but Zeus was quick enough to rescue fetus Dionysus, and sew him to his thigh. It was in his thigh that Dionysus grew into a complete baby, and at the right moment, he was released. So that’s how Dionysus, Great Lord of Wine, an all-powerful Greek god, was born. From a thigh. What do you expect from a God who’s destined to be a drunk?
It’s kind of gruesome, but Greek mythology always is.
Moving on, Athena‘s birth is a bit less gross, but gross nonetheless.
So Athena‘s mom is the Titan of Wisdom, Metis. And her dad is Zeus. He was pretty much a player.
There was supposedly this prophecy which said that Zeus‘s offspring with Metis would be a great being, greater than its parents. Zeus, thanks to his enormous ego, tried to stop Metis from conceiving the baby by swallowing her whole and imprisoning her in his belly. But he couldn’t stop her.
A while later, Zeus experienced an incredibly severe headache. He summoned his lame son, Hephaestus to use his blacksmith skills to split his skull and relieve him of his headache. Hephaestus, who was held back only by his respect for his “father”, agreed and used his mallet to split his father’s skull.
A smile of relief spread across Zeus‘s face, and from his split skull, clad in full battle armor, sprang Athena, with an expression so awe-inspiring that even Zeus couldn’t rip his eyes away from his own creation.
And that is how the Goddess of Wisdom came to be.
That’s all I’m going to include for this post. In the next post, I will be telling you guys about the births of another two Gods, and so on. 😀
Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it. Feel free to like and share! Until next time!