Athena is the ancient Greek goddess of wisdom, strategic warfare, and crafts, and is known as the patron of Athens and other cities in Greece. Originally the Aegean goddess of the palace, Athena guarded the king and governed the household crafts. With her temples usually perched on the fortified acropolis, the goddess is associated with the city and is referred to as Polias and Poliouchos, from the term “polis” that means city-state. She is represented with the Gorgoneion, owls, snakes, and olive trees.

Athena Ancient Greek Goddess | Source: AS

 The reverse of the Greece 1000 Drachmai banknote from 1939 features the bust of Athena, wearing a helmet, as what she is depicted in art. It also shows the Parthenon on the Acropolis, a temple devoted to the goddess. Erected in the era of the Delian League, the temple stands as a symbol of gratitude for the triumph of Hellenic forces over the Persian Empire. The obverse of the note depicts a woman wearing a traditional dress.  

Greece 1,000 Drachmai Banknote, 1939 | Source: Banknote World

The 5000-drachmai banknote from 1943 also features the goddess Athena on the obverse. Its reverse shows the marble bas-relief from the west frieze of the Parthenon along with cavalry on horses. 

Greece 5,000 Drachmai Banknote, 1943 | Source: Banknote World

Featured on the 500,000-drachmai banknote is a portrait of Zeus, Athena’s father. Athena is believed to have sprang fully grown and armored from his forehead, after he swallowed her mother, Metis, to prevent a prophesied child from overthrowing him. The banknote was issued  by the Bank of Greece during the Axis occupation in 1944 and displays the denomination and guilloches on its reverse. 

Greece 500,000 Drachmai Banknote, 1944 | Source: Banknote World

The goddess of war is also portrayed on the obverse of the 1978 issue of the Greece 100 Drachmai banknote, the note enclosed on this Athena: The Goddess of War billfold.  On the note’s reverse is Greek scholar Adamantios Korais who laid the groundwork of Greek literature.  

Athena: The Goddess of War Folder | Source: Banknote World


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