The Many Cult-names and Epithets of Athena: A List

Here, for your pleasure, a symptom of a particular kind of madness. The wide range of epithets, cult-names and geographical associations for Athena presents us with a rather different idea of the goddess from what we get in conventional summaries.

Athena Black Figure

Athena Ageleiê (“bringer of Spoils”), epithet

Athena Aglauros (“Shining, Bright, Noble”) epithet, Athens (also a daughter of Cecrops)

Athena Agoraia (“The Assembly Goddess”) cult-name, Sparta

Athena Aithuia (“The Diver”; “Sea-Gull”) cult-name, Megara

Athena Alea (“warmth”), cult-name, Arcadia (Tegea)

Athena Akria (“On High”) cult-name, various

Athena Alalkomenêis: (“defender”), epithet and cult-name, Boeotia

Athena Amaria (“Bright Sky”), cult-name in Achaea

Athena Amboulia: (“Without Council”) cult-name, Sparta

Athena Anemôtis (“Windy”?), cult-name, Messenia

Athena Arkhêgetis (“Founder”) cult-name, Athens

Athena Atrutônê (“Tireless”), epithet

Athena Boarmia (the “yoker of Oxen”; worshipped in Athens)

Athena Eilenia/Ellênia (Uncertain, “Warmth”; “Light”), cult-name, Metapontum

Athena Erganê: (“Craftswoman”) cult-name, Athens

Athena Ergatis (“Craftsman”) cult-name, Samos

Athena Glaukôpis (“bright-eyed”; “grey-eyed”; “owl-eyed”), epithet

Athena Gorgonophonos (“Gorgon-slayer”) epithet, Euripides Ion 987

Athena Hygeia (“Health”; “Cleansing”)

Athena Hellôtis (unclear, “Capture” or named for a maiden) Cult-name, Corinth and Marathon

Athena Hephaistia, cult-name, Athens

Athena Hippia (“Horsewoman”), Cult-name, Corinth (perhaps associated with the yoking of Pegasos)

Athena Homolôis (“The Constant”; “Concord”) cult-name, Boeotia

Athena Itonia (Toponym) cult-name, Boeotia

Athena Keleutheia (“Of the Roads”) cult-name, Sparta

Athena Kalliergos (“Fine-worker”), cult-name, Epidauros

Athena Ktêsia: (“Founding Goddess”) cult-name, various

Athena Korêsia (Toponym, near lake Korêsia?), cult-name

Athena Kranaia (“On the Top of the Hill”) cult-name, Elatea

Athena Khalinîtis (“The Bridle-Goddess”), cult-name, Corinth (associated with the yoking of Pegasos)

Athena Kissaia (“Ivy”) cult-name, Epidauros

Athena Mêter (“Mother”) Athens, Crete

Athena Mêkhanîtis (“Diviser”) cult-name, Megalopolis

Athena Narkaia (dubious: “Cold”; “Lightning”; “The goddess who petrifies”), cult-name in Elis

Athena Nedousia (Toponym, “near the river Nedôn”) cult-name, Laconia

Athena Nikê: (“Victory”) cult-name, Athens

Athena Oksuderkês (“keen-eyed”) cult-name, Argos

Athena Ophthalmîtis (“Sharp-eyed”) cult-name, Sparta

Athena Onga, Ogkaiê (Unclear: “Bellowing”; “Stately”, of oxen) cult-name, Thebes

Athena Pandrosos (“All-doer”) epithet, Athens (also a daughter of Cecrops)

Athena Parthenos (“The Virgin”), cult-name, Athens

Athena Phratria/Apatouria (“Tribal God”) cult-name, Ionian states, Athens, Cos

Athena Polias (“Guardian of the City”), cult-name, Athens

Athena Promakhos (“The Fore-fighter”) cult-name, Troezen, Athens

Athena Pronoias (“Fore-thought”) cult-name, Delphi

Athena Skiras (Toponym, old name at Salamis; also “Sun-Shade”) cult-name, Athens, Salamis

Athena Salpingks (“Trumpeter”) cult-name, Argos

Athena Stoikheia (“Marshaller of Ranks”)

Athena Tritogeneia (Homer, other poetry, rarely in ritual): false-etymology: “head-born”; more likely: “water-born”; perhaps a toponym (e.g. Triton a river; cf. Cyprogenes)

Athena Tritônia (Toponym, “Near the River Tritonis) cult-name

Athena Zôstêria (“Girder”) cult-name, Thebes and Athens

Sources:

OCD3

Walter Burkert. Greek Religion. Cambridge, 1985.

L. R. Farnell. The Cults of the Greek City States. 1895.

Timothy Gantz. Early Greek Myth. Baltimore, 1993.

Simon Price. Religions of the Ancient Greeks. Cambridge, 1999.

2 thoughts on “The Many Cult-names and Epithets of Athena: A List

  1. How many names can one goddess have? Leaf and Bayfield say that Atrutônê may mean Tireless or Unwearied from τρυω to rub but it cannot be said with confidence it is of Hellenic origin at all. Or it may be connected with the first element in Tritogeneia

  2. Most Impressive.
    We have to consider these were all different Athenas altogether. They were seen as individual manifestations of the goddess representative of local beliefs, not variations on the same goddess that somehow disagreed. In other words, each name represents what each city believed was Athena.

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