Dekadrahm of Athens, struck in 465B.C. at end of Persian wars, honoring the patron goddess Athena shown here in crested helmet; owl on reverse side.
In the Classical Olympian pantheon, Athena was remade as the favorite daughter of Zeus, born fully armed from his forehead . It is said that god Zeus have had an enormous headache; Prometheus, Hephaestus, Hermes, or Palaemon (depending on the sources examined) cleaved Zeus's head with the double-headed Minoan axe and Athena came out straight from Zeus's forehead, fully grown and armed. She was the goddess of wisdom ,war, civilization, and justice in Greek mythology. The capital of Greece, Athens, took its name in honor of Athena. Moreover the Parthenon on the Acropolis of Athens, the most known ancient Greek monument, was was built in her honour, a sacred place where Athenians worshiped their goddess and protector of the city.
In Roman mythology, Athena is known as Minerva.
The significance of the owl was the virtue of Wisdom. It was usually depicted accompanying Athena (Roman Minerva), the all important virgin Goddess to whom perhaps the most significant shrine of classical antiquity, the Parthenon, was built in honor of. Her worship peaked during the golden age of Pericles 461 BC to 379 BC. It was during this inspiring age of wisdom that philosophy, architecture, medicine, theatre and the arts were first established as fabric to society to set grounds to an array of social fundaments as they are today, whilst the radical concept of 'democracy' was also first fostered.
The all knowing, all watching wise owl, inspired this progress and thereon became the embodiment of the creative wisdom of man, able to generate civilization in physical and spiritual realms. In tribute, it was depicted on various denominations of the tetradrachm in the 5th Century BC to reach every part of the known world and spread its important meaning. Today, more than 2 millennia later, this owl still has it's honorary place on the Greek 1 Euro coin.
|Gender||For Him or Her|
|Depiction||Athena & Wise Owl|
|Historic Period||Era: Classical|
|Material||Solid Sterling Silver|
|Diameter (excluding bails)||29 mm (1 and 9⁄64in)|