Athena, Goddess of Wisdom and War, Protector of Civilization. Athena sprang forth from Zeus' head as an adult in a full armor. She was his favorite child. She was a Virgin Goddess symbolizing wisdom, reason, purity and virtue. She was patron of the arts of peace (handicrafts and agriculture) and war and ruler of storms. Her gifts to man include the olive tree and the bridle which allowed horses to be tamed. Her symbolds included the owl, an aegis with the head of Medusa on it, the helmet, the serpent and cockrel. She wore golden sandals and was described as "grey-eyed" or "flame-eyed" which indicated her wisdom.