The virgin goddess Athena was the patron of the city of Athens. She was supposed to have sprung full-grown and armoured from the brow of Zeus. Wise and pure, she represented intelligence, reason, art and literature. Athena was so favoured by her father Zeus that she was allowed to play with his special weapon, the thunderbolt.
Her symbols were the owl and the olive tree. Among her achievements were the invention of the bridle, the ship, and the chariot, as well as several kinds of farm implements and musical instruments.
In Mycenae, this goddess went by the name of Mykene, and in Thebes, Thebe. Minerva was the name of her Roman variation; however, this name may have been derived from an Etruscan goddess as well.