Only-begotten ... The term monogenes means only-born. The Goddess Athena has no mother, she sprang from the head of her father Zeus.
Ineffable and effable ... The Greek arrhete refers to a reverent, even fearful, silence. In the hymn it is followed immediately by rhete, its opposite.
And groves, and shady mountains thee delight ... The Greek word antrodiaitos literally means "to make one's home in a cavern" or "grotto." This is a chthonic attribution.
Dire Gorgon's bane ... An epithet of Athena, who aided Perseus to destroy the Gorgon monster. All Athena's statue depic the head of the Medusa (the only mortal of the three Gorgon sisters) on her breastplate, the aegis.
Female and male ... The androginous
aspect of Athena is here well stated. Karl Kerenyi (1952) explains: In
the case of the name Pallas, one has to associate with a masculine Pallas,
with an extraction from androgynous unity; this would explain the androgyny
of the Goddess. [Athene p.42]
... blue-eyed maid ... The Goddess Athena
was represented blue-eyed, Pausanias confirms this assertion: I saw
that the statue of Athena had blue eyes [Paus. 14.6].
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Copyright ©1998-1999 Roy George