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The Myth Of Arachne And Athena

René-Antoine Houasse - GalleriX, Public Domain. Athena is chasing Arachne to hit her.

There are many tales in Greek mythology of gods interacting with humans. One such story is that of Arachne and Athena. Arachne was a mortal woman who was an amazing weaver. She was so good, in fact, that she began to think she was better than Athena, the goddess of wisdom and crafts. One day, Athena decided to teach Arachne a lesson…

The Tale Of Arachne And Athena

Arachne was a young woman living in ancient Greece. She was a shepherd’s daughter who began weaving at an early age. She became an excellent weaver. People traveled great distances to see her work.

All this praise gave her so much confidence in her skills that she began to think she was better than the goddess Athena. One day, Athena offended decided to teach Arachne a lesson.

She appeared to Arachne in the form of an old woman and warned her not to anger the gods with her arrogance. Arachne mocked her warnings and bragged that she could beat Athena at any weaving contest.

You can never compare to any of the gods. Plead for forgiveness and Athena might spare your soul.

Arachne replied:

Ha, I only speak the truth and if Athena thinks otherwise then let her come down and challenge me herself.

Hearing this, Athena revealed herself and offered to compete against Arachne. The two set to work and produced stunning tapestries.

Arachne And Athena — Diego Velázquez – The Spinners (1655 – 1660), oil on canvas
Diego Velázquez – The Spinners (1655 – 1660), oil on canvas

Athena wove a tapestry representing scenes from the glorious history of the gods. It also depicted how they punished mortals who set themselves as equals to the gods.

Arachne wove scenes of the gods’ infidelities and amours. She was particularly harsh on Zeus, who had misled and abused many mortals.

In addition to insulting the gods, Arachne’s work was more beautiful than that of Athena. The goddess was so enraged by this that she shredded Arachne’s weaving and hit her on the head three times. Frightened and ashamed, Arachne stop living. Athena, however, feeling sorry for her, changed her into a spider. This is why spiders have been spinning webs ever since.

Arachne and Athena’s moral lesson

Arachne’s story teaches us about the dangers of arrogance. We should be humble in our talents and always remember that there is always someone better than us. It’s also a lesson to show that no matter how skilled people are, they are never a match for the gods. People will be punished by the gods if they try to be their equals.

What do you think about this story? Let us know in the comments!

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