Athena – Goddess of Just War, 2022

Author: Alexey Leonov
Material: bronze
Location: Private collection

Athena is the victorious goddess of just war
The Queen of Heaven, the personification of the Great Mother Goddess, cosmic justice and fate itself. The most revered goddess of wisdom, warrior, patroness of crafts and art in the mythology of Ancient Greece.
The sculpture “Athena – the goddess of just war” is made in a unique author’s technique in the best traditions of Greek sculpture. Traditionally, Athena was distinguished by an unusual appearance – a strong, courageous, stout woman with pronounced features of will and strength.
Athena’s large, beautiful eyes are depicted with particular insight in the portrait. The quick eye is focused on its goal – to find the optimal strategy for obtaining a quick and brilliant victory with the least losses. The whole image is filled with the winning energy of confidence and determination. Athena is traditionally characterized by the epithet “glaukopis”, i.e. owl-eyed, since among her totemic attributes is an owl – a symbol of wisdom.
A traditionally sculptural portrait is crowned with a Corinthian helmet with three crests: the middle one is decorated with a sphinx – a symbol of knowledge of the greatest secrets of the world, the sides – relief images of pegasus as a sign of dexterity and ingenuity. The goddess is the only one who was able to tame the winged horse Pegasus and put the blinders on him with her own hands.
Athena’s portrait is accompanied by the winged goddess of victory – Nika, who usually stands on her hand.
Athena – Pallas (warrior)
In the archaic period, Athena acts as a formidable warrior. She takes part in the fight against titans and giants. She piled the island of Sicily on one of the giants, and removed the skin from the other and covered herself with it during the battle.
According to legend, the first image of Athena fell from the heavens as a sign. He was named Pallados (from the Latin “heartbeat”). This image was used by the Greeks as a talisman that guaranteed victory over enemies. Pallados fell on the territory of Troy and became a guarantee of the integrity of the city, but Odysseus sneakily stole the talisman and that is why Troy surrendered to the Greeks. Athena helped the Greeks in the war with the Trojans, it was she who had the idea to create a horse and hide the army in it and give it to the Trojans. The Greeks moved Palladius to Athens and the polis was invincible for a long time.
Athena Paeonia (healer) and Polyuchos (She who holds the city)
It is Athena who is considered the founder of the state, she formulated the laws and created the supreme court in Athens. The goddess is imagined as a symbol of understanding, the art of medicine comes from her. In addition to inventing methods of warfare, Athena helped the people of Attica build ships, create ceramic pots, invented rakes, plows, yokes for oxen, and bridles for horses. She taught the women to weave, spin and cook. In this guise, she acts as a worker (Ergon). In the capital of Greece, the holidays of land cultivation were dedicated to her: the beginning of the harvest, the gift of dew for sowing, the ripening of fruits, etc.
Athena Parthenos (virgin)
In the mind of the Greeks, the goddess was the embodiment of purity and chastity, which had a special meaning. For example, in the Eleusinian Mysteries, two virgins – Athena and Artemis – combine spiritually and physically and together represent “harmony”.
According to legend, Athena was born in Libya – the territory that in antiquity was called the whole of Africa. Lake Triton is called the specific birthplace of the goddess. Hence her name Tritonida, that is, born of Triton. The olive tree that Athena won from Poseidon with her wisdom and gave to the inhabitants of Attica was called Tritonis, and the pipe invented by Athena was called Tritonika.
Later versions of the myths attribute the appearance of Athena to the family of the supreme god Zeus and the goddess of wisdom Metis. Zeus could not come to terms with the prediction that his child would be able to surpass him and displace him from the throne, so he swallowed the pregnant Metis. Athena became the only goddess born from her father. She was born in battle armor and with a war cry from the blow of Hephaestus on the head of Zeus.
According to other legends, when Athena was born, it rained gold on the island of Rhodes. The Greeks also believe in another origin of the goddess – she was hidden in a cloud and appeared in the world from a lightning strike of Zeus, it happened on the island of Crete.