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Answered 2010-06-28 19:51:09

The story of Athena's birth: When Zeus was warned that if his wife Metis had a son, that he would overthrow his father, Zeus swallowed Metis. Later, Zeus got a terrible headache. Hephaestus, the god a blacksmiths, opened up Zeus's skull and out came Athena, fully grown and dressed in armor.

The story of Arachne: Arachne was a young maiden who weaved beautifully. One day she bragged that she was better than Athena, the goddess of weaving. Angered, Athena visited Arachne in the disguise of a old woman. She told her to take back what she said and honor Athena as the greatest weaver. Arachne refused to and challenged the goddess to a contest. In fury, Athena threw off her disguise and excepted the girl's challenge. Athena weaved a glorious tapestry showing the Olympian gods in all of their glory. Arachne also weaved a flawless tapestry, but it mocked Zeus and all of his wives. In outrage Athena tore apart Arachne's tapestry. The scared Arachne tried to hang herself, but before she could, Athena turned her into a spider.

The story of the contest for Athens: Both Athena and Poseidon wanted to be the patron god of the newly found Greek city. So they decided whoever gave the best gift to the people of that city would have it. Poseidon gave them a spring, but it was salty like the sea. Athena gave them the first olive tree. Athena's gift was judged as the better, since it gave food, oil, wood, and shade. Then the people named their city Athens, after their patron goddess.

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