The Name Giving of Athens Story in Greek Mythology — A Summary

Here’s A Summary of the Name Giving of Athens Story in Greek Mythology

THE NAME GIVING OF ATHENS STORY – Here is a summary of the Greek Mythology tale of how Athens got its name.

Are you one of the many people in the world who are great fans of Greek Mythology? It is composed of countless works of fiction that has drove avid readers across the globe. It has even become a major subject in some courses related to English and Literature.

Greek Mythology
Photo Credit: Spartacus Brasil

The Greek Mythology stories are about the gods and goddesses, the demigods which are the sons and daughters of the gods and goddesses with mortal humans, the nymphs, the titans, and a lot more. Each story brings a moral lesson to the people despite them being fictional.

The Greek Mythology tales speak about the fictional origin of a certain place, the battle betweens gods, the hatred of some gods to people like the Pandora’s Box story due to Prometheus, and a lot more. There is even a story in the name giving of Athens.

The Name Giving of Athens Story in Greek Mythology
Screengrabbed from Greek Travel Tellers

One of the most popular cities in Greek Mythology is Athens. The name of this place has its own story on how it got the name and it actually came a battle between two (2) of the Greek gods — Poseidon, the god of the sea, and Athena, the goddess of wisdom.

The first king of Attica, King Cecrops, named its city after him, Cecropia. However, the gods of Mount Olympus, Poseidon and Athena, noticed the beauty of the city. Each of them wants the city to be named after them. Each of them wants to be its patron god/goddess.

To solve the dispute between the god of the sea and the god of wisdom, Zeus, the god of the sky, decided that Athena and Poseidon must both present gifts to the people of Cecropia. The people will decide which of the gifts of the two (2) gods of Olympus they like best and that god will become the city’s patron god.

King Cecrops and the people of Cecropia went up to a hill to witness the unveiling of the gifts of Poseidon and Athena. This is the highlight of the name giving of Athens story. The god of the sea struck a rock with his trident and, from the ground, came a spring of water. His gift assured the people that there will be no drought.

On Athena’s gift, the goddess of wisom struck the ground with her spear and a lovely olive tree appeared. It assured the residents of the city of food, oil, and firewood. The Cecropians like the gift of the goddess better.

The people did not like the salty taste of the water from the spring that Poseidon gifted. It is like the salty water in the sea where the god rules. They like what the goddess of wisdom’s gift can provide them. Athena became the patronness of the city and it was named after her — Athens.

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