The gods and goddesses that the Greek people believe in make up the
Greek mythology studied today. These divine characters represent a family
living on Mount Olympus who intervene frequently in the lives of the human
characters in Greek plays. They are omnipresent, for they are always observing
mans actions and working through human nature. The gods are a higher power, and
provide explanations for otherwise unexplainable events. The gods help humans
in trouble and give them guidance about the future. The Olympians influence men
on earth both psychologically and physically. In Homer's epic poem, The Iliad,
the intervention of such divine powers as Athena, Apollo, and Zeus play
significant roles in the lives of the characters and the events of the Greek-
Athena plays a very influential role in the Greek-Trojan War. She is
the most constant divine supporter of the Greeks and divine enemy of the Trojans.
Athena's function is to be a goddess of pro-Greek warfare. She came to the aid
of the Greeks many times throughout the war. For instance, Athena came down
from the sky to stop Achilleus from attacking Agamemnon (Steiner). Andre
Michalopoulous confirms this action by quoting what Athena says to Achilles :
I came from heaven to stay thine anger, if perchance though wilt
hearken to me, being sent forth of the white-armed goddess Hera,
that loveth you twain alike and careth for you. Go to now, cense
from strife, and let not thine hand draw the sword.(65)
Achilles listens to Athena's request, and therefore he returns his sword
to its sheath, and withdraws from battle. Athena also assists Achilles in his
battle with Hektor. Malcolm Steiner quotes, "After deceiving Hektor into
fighting Achilles,she comes to his aid by returning his sword to him" (244).
This intervention is the greatest assist of a divine power to a human being in
Athena also plays an influential role in the battles of Diomedes.
Martin Mueller reveals, "Athena is closest to Diomedes. " She is with him at
the beginning and end of his aristeia and she addresses him without disguise"
(136). Athena also urges Diomedes to fight Aphrodite. With this command, she
removes the cloud from his eyes which made him able to see the gods.
Furthermore, as Robert Graves states, "She put fresh strength into his legs and
arms," which allowed him to sustain in battle with Aphrodite (104). Athena
instructs Diomedes not to attack any other gods; but, Diomedes does not take her
advice, and fights against Apollo and other gods, which causes Diomedes to
retreat until he is saved by being reunited with Athena. This powerful goddess
assistsd Diomedes greatly as she does the other characters in The Iliad.
Another Greek warrior who...