Who's Who Greek Myth: Athena
As related, this goddess was born from the head of Zeus, fully formed and armed for battle.
Zeus had impregnated his first cousin, Metis, a sea nympth and daughter of Oceanus and Tethys. It was foretold that Metis would bear first a daughter, and then a son who would seize power from Zeus.
It is not clear exactly why he swallowed Metis when pregnant with his first child, but after swallowing her, he enlisted the help of Hephaistos, who split open his forehead with an axe so that the birth could take place.
Hephaistos then tried to rape Athena, and though unsuccessful, some of his semen fell to earth from her thigh, from which was born her son Erechtheus, legendary first king of Athens.
The goddess' full name is Pallas Athena, 'Pallas' meaning 'brandisher of weapons' (and also 'young girl'). As the armed maiden, Athena is seen giving courage to the Achaens (Mycenaeans) on the battle field, and protecting Achilles, Herakles, Odysseus and Telemachos.
She helps Perseus to cut off the head of the Medusa, and aids her father in his battle against the Giants. She is also goddess of culture and the civilized arts, teaching cultivation of the olive,, weaving, ship construction, weapon and tool making. She invents the flute and the first statues, and is protectress of the city of the same name, though there is controversy as to whether Athens (Athena in Greek) was named for her, or whether she was named for the city.