The goddess of war, handicrafts, wisdom and self-realization. The portrait of Athena found in poetry and art is exceptionally accurate for the Greek people as a whole, perhaps because Greek poets and artists tended, like Athena, to belong to society and civilization and not like Artemis, like the wilderness. Even the goddess as she was before Homer, the goddess whom archeology and linguistics must reconstruct, finds close reflection in Homer's pages.
When during 2nd millenium B.C. the Greeks settled the peninsula to which they later gave their name, they probably found Athena's worship's already established, in Crete if not on the main land. The pre-Greek Minoan Cretans worshiped a snake goddess who protected the home and who, like other Minoan deities, was thought to appear among men in the shape of a bird; snake and bird attributes as well as bird epiphany are especially characteristics of Athena as she appears in Homers and afterward. The Minoans worshiped their goddess in recessed sanctuaries in their palaces, her priest being the master of the house or, in palaces, the king.Then, probably, with the dissolution of the Mycenaean society around 1100-1000 B.C. and the migration of the Greeks across the Aegean to Asia Minor, Athena became a warrior goddess. It seems quite possible that during these years she was assimilated with an old Greek warrior goddess, Pallas ("Maiden"),into the familiar Pallas Athena.
In the Illiad Athena inspires and fights along side the Aeachean worriers, and helps many Trojan War heroes; like Odysseus, Diomedes, and many others. She fills Diomedes's heart with power; she gives him vision to see what is Mortal and what is Divine; she strengthens him when he is wounded. She even guides his spear, an act that is not understood as an unfair advantage, but rather as a symbol of his prowess.
More generally, when divinity apeared and inspired a man to great acomplisments of …