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Now Zeus, king of the gods, made Metis his wife first, and she was wisest among gods and mortal men. But when she was about to bring forth the goddess bright-eyed Athene, Zeus craftily deceived her with cunning words and put her in his own belly, as Earth and starry Heaven advised. For they advised him so, to the end that no other should hold royal sway over the eternal gods in place of Zeus; for very wise children were destined to be born of her, first the maiden bright-eyed Tritogeneia, equal to her father in strength and in wise understanding; but afterwards she was to bear a son of overbearing spirit, king of gods and men. But Zeus put her into his own belly first, that the goddess might devise for him both good and evil .... Hesiod , Theogony

In Greek mythology, Metis ("wisdom" or "wise counsel") was a Titaness who was the first great spouse of Zeus, indeed his equal (Hesiod, Theogony 896) and the mother of Athena. So, Athena was actually the daughter of wisdom. She was the goddess of wisdom and deep thought.

Metis was born of Oceanus and Tethys, of an earlier age than Zeus and his siblings. Metis gave Zeus an emetic to force Cronus to vomit out Zeus' brothers and sisters.

Zeus lay with Metis but immediately feared the consequences. It had been prophesied that Metis would bear a son more powerful than Zeus himself. In order to forestall these dire consequences, Zeus tricked her into turning herself into a fly and promptly swallowed her. He was too late: Metis had already conceived a child. In time she began making a helmet and robe for her fetal daughter. The hammering as she made the helmet caused Zeus great pain and Prometheus, Hephaestus, Hermes or Palamaon (depending on the sources examined) cleaved Zeus's head with an axe at the river Triton, giving rise to Athena's epithet Tritogeneia. Athena leaped from Zeus's head, fully grown, armed, and armored, and Zeus was none the worse for the experience.

Her daughter Athena was the favorite child of Zeus and the patron deity of Athens after she gave them the gift of the olive tree.

Metis was also the mother of Porus.

Greek Mythology

Metis, a minor moon of the planet Jupiter, was named for her in 1979.

Main belt asteroid 9 Metis)


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