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Athena Areia

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Areia (Ancient Greek: Ἀρεία) was a cultic epithet of the Greek goddess Athena, under which she was worshipped at Athens.

Athena's statue, together with those of Ares, Aphrodite Areia, and Enyo, stood in the temple of Ares at Athens.[1] There was also a colossal acrolithic statue of her, at a temple at Plataea, built with the spoils given to that city by the Athenians after the Battle of Marathon.[2] This was supposedly created by the artist Pheidias, though there is some disagreement among modern scholars whether this was indeed created by that artist.[3] Plutarch mentions a gilded statue in this temple, but does not specify the name of the deity it honors.[4][5]

Athena's worship under this name was said to have been instituted by Orestes after he had been acquitted by the Areopagus of the murder of his mother.[6] It was Athena Areia who gave her casting vote in cases where the Areopagites were equally divided.[7] There is some epigraphic evidence of a distinct priesthood for this aspect of Athena, but all we have are incomplete fragments, primarily of an oath from this priesthood at Acharnae.[8][9][10]

From these circumstances, it has been surmised by some scholars (primarily in the 19th century) that the name "Areia" ought not to be derived from Ares, but from "ara" (ἀρά), a prayer, or from "areo" (ἀρέω) or "aresko" (ἀρέσκω), to propitiate or atone for. This is not considered likely by modern scholars.


  1. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece 1.8.4
  2. ^ Harrison, Evelyn B. (1999). "Pheidias". In Palagia, Olga; Pollitt, J. J. (eds.). Personal Styles in Greek Sculpture. Yale Classical Studies. Vol. 30. Cambridge University Press. pp. 16–65. ISBN 9780521657389. ISSN 0084-330X. Retrieved 2017-12-09.
  3. ^ Lapatin, Kenneth D. S. (2001). Chryselephantine Statuary in the Ancient Mediterranean World. Oxford monographs on classical archaeology. Oxford University Press. p. 198. ISBN 9780198153115. Retrieved 2017-12-09.
  4. ^ Plutarch, Aristeides XX, 1-3
  5. ^ Mikalson, Jon D. (2004). Herodotus and Religion in the Persian Wars. University of North Carolina Press. p. 102. ISBN 9780807862018. Retrieved 2017-12-09.
  6. ^ Pausanias, Description of Greece 1.28.5
  7. ^ Aeschylus, The Eumenides 753
  8. ^ Supplementum Epigraphicum Graecum 21.519
  9. ^ Kellogg, Danielle L. (2013). Marathon Fighters and Men of Maple: Ancient Acharnai. Oxford University Press. pp. 94–95. ISBN 9780199645794. Retrieved 2017-12-09.
  10. ^ Parker, Robert (2005). Polytheism and Society at Athens. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780191534522. Retrieved 2017-12-09.

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainSchmitz, Leonhard (1870). "Areia". In Smith, William (ed.). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. Vol. 1. p. 275.