Arachne & Minerva

Greek Mythology is the study of ancient gods and goddesses. Greek Myhtology also contains famous myths, one is the story of Arachne and Minerva.


Minerva was the daughter of Zeus and one of his favorite daughters as well. They say she sprand from his brain full grown and clad in complete armor. She was the goddess of wisdom, arts, crafts, war, education, business, battle, death, and sexuality. Minerva was one of the most important goddesses in the Etruscan pantheon. She presided over the us

eful arts, both those of men, such as agriculture and navigation, and those of women spinning, needle-work, and weaving. Minerva also was very skillful at weaving. She was worshipped by the Etruscan and neighboring people of central Italy.

Arachne, who lived in Maedonia, a region in Lydia, had a high reputation in all Lydian cities for being the best in the art of spinning and weaving wool. She was so famous and good at her work that many came to see it, even if it wasn't done.

The story of Arachne and Minerva is that, Arachne had a great talent in weaving just like Minerva. Arachne was so good at weaving and embroidery that the people said that she was taught by Minerva herself. But Arachne denied this because she thought she was too good to be taught. Arachne then challenged Minerva and said," Lets Minerva try her skill with mine; if beaten I will pay the penalty." Hearing this Minerva was displeased. The two started their contest by first tending thier stations and attaching the web to the beam. Minerva created her web the scene of her battle with Neptune. Twelve of the heavenly powers were shown. Arachne wove a picture designed to show the failures and errors of the gods and goddesses. Minerva could not stand the insult in Arachne's weaving, angrily Minerva took her shuffe and tore Arachne's weaving into pieces. Then she touched Arachne's forehead to make her feel her guilt. Arachne could not stand the guilt anymore so she hung herself. Minerva took pity for her and turned her into a spider to let her live.

Daly, Kathleen. Greek & Roman Mythology A-Z. Copyright 2004 p.86

Cavendish, Marshall. God, Goddesses, & Mythology Volume 7. Copyright 2005 p.881

Hamilton, Edith. Mythology. New York, NY: Little Brown Copyright 1942

Grainger, John. "Minerva-Athena." 4 December 2006

Questions to Know

What was Minerva the goddess of?
After the weaving contest what did Minerva turn Arachne into?