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Douriscup 83d40m Athene aegisWingedLionessOwl pythonVomitsJason fleeceInTree Vatican

Athena's aegis, bearing the Gorgon, here resembles closely the skin of the huge serpent who guards the golden fleece (regurgitating Jason); cup by Douris, Classical Greece, early fifth century BC - Vatican Museum.

The Aegis, as stated in the Iliad, is the shield or buckler or breastplate, of Athena and Zeus, famously bearing Medusa's head, which, according to Homer was fashioned by Hephaestus "... and among them went bright-eyed Athene, holding the precious aegis which is ageless and immortal: a hundred tassels of pure gold hang fluttering from it, tight-woven each of them, and each the worth of a hundred oxen." The modern concept of doing something "under someone's aegis" means doing something under the protection of a powerful, knowledgeable, or benevolent source. The word aegis is identified with protection by a strong force with its roots in Greek mythology and adopted by the Romans; there are parallels in Norse mythology and in Egyptian mythology as well, where the Greek word aegis is applied by extension.

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In Greek religion and mythology, Athena or Athene, also referred to as Pallas Athena/Athene, is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, just warfare, mathematics, strength, strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill. Minerva is the Roman goddess identified with Athena. Athena is also a shrewd companion of heroes and is the goddess of heroic endeavour. She is the virgin patroness of Athens. The Athenians founded the Parthenon on the Acropolis of her namesake city, Athens (Athena Parthenos), in her honour.

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