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She was known as Polias and Poliouchos (both derived from polis, meaning "city-state"), and her temples were usually located atop the fortified Acropolis in the central part of the city.

The Parthenon on the Athenian Acropolis is dedicated to her, along with numerous other temples and monuments.

In his dialogue Cratylus, the Greek philosopher Plato (428–347 BC) gives some rather imaginative etymologies of Athena's name, based on the theories of the ancient Athenians and his own etymological speculations: That is a graver matter, and there, my friend, the modern interpreters of Homer may, I think, assist in explaining the view of the ancients.

For most of these in their explanations of the poet, assert that he meant by Athena "mind" [, Atheonóa—which the later Greeks rationalised as from the deity's (θεός, theós) mind (νοῦς, noũs).

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In Greek mythology, Athena was reported to have visited mythological sites in North Africa, including Libya's Triton River and the Phlegraean plain.As the patron of craft and weaving, Athena was known as Ergane.She was also a warrior goddess, and was believed to lead soldiers into battle as Athena Promachos.The second-century AD orator Aelius Aristides attempted to derive natural symbols from the etymological roots of Athena's names to be aether, air, earth, and moon.Proponents of this view argue that she dropped her prophylactic owl-mask before she lost her wings.

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