Studia Antiqua


Athena, Birth of Athena, Greek Mythology


Based around a classical Greek kylix held in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, this essay discusses artistic portrayal of the Birth of Athena. Images of Athena’s birth represent Zeus in a way consistent with childbirth imagery, so Zeus can be understood as repurposing female imagery for a patriarchal narrative. Comparing this kylix to other childbirth images reveals Greek gender roles and stereotypes, as well as the politics associated with the rise of Athens. Understanding the gender politics in the Birth of Athena image is therefore helpful in understanding Greek society and concepts of gender roles.



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