Sprung from the head of Zeus — The Orphic Hymn to Athena

Only-Begotten, noble race of Jove,
 blessed and fierce, who joy’st in caves to rove: 

O, warlike Pallas, whose illustrious kind,
 ineffable and effable we find:

Magnanimous and fam’d, the rocky height,
 and groves, and shady mountains thee delight:

In arms rejoicing, who with Furies dire
 and wild, the souls of mortals dost inspire.

Gymnastic virgin of terrific mind,
 dire Gorgons bane, unmarried, blessed, kind:

Mother of arts, imperious; understood,
 rage to the wicked., wisdom to the good:

Female and male, the arts of war are thine,
 fanatic, much-form’d dragoness [Drakaina], divine: 

O’er the Phlegrean giants rous’d to ire,
 thy coursers driving, with destruction dire.

Sprung from the head of Jove [Tritogeneia], of splendid mien,
 purger of evils, all-victorious queen.

Hear me, O Goddess, when to thee I pray,
 with supplicating voice both night and day, 

And in my latest hour, peace and health,
 propitious times, and necessary wealth,

And, ever present, be thy vot’ries aid,
 O, much implor’d, art’s parent, blue eyed maid.

The Orphic Hymn to Athena seems to concentrate on her more warlike side rather than on her aspect of the goddess of Wisdom and Crafts. It is only in a few places that the arts are even mentioned. This is an interesting view as many times we tend to focus on her as the Wise One of the Olympian Gods. To see her as one of the warriors is interesting in that it is focused on her as combating the evils of the world. 

In the hymn, we see her described as being “in arms rejoicing” and “purger of evils”. She is also described as a queen even though she is not in that position among the Gods. This does seem to be common in the Orphic Hymns however. I personally think that it may have been a literary device in this case to describe her as being supreme in her area.  It is also interesting that in THIS translation she is being described as “blue eyed” when in all other translations I have seen she is described as being “flashing-eyed” or “grey eyed”. This is one of the reasons that I would love to see the original and see what a more modern translation would look like.

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