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Metis (/ˈmiːtɪs/; Greek: Μῆτις - "wisdom," "skill," or "craft"), in ancient Greek religion, was a mythological character belonging to the second generation of Titans. She was an Oceanid, the daughters of Oceanus
Oceanus
and his sister Tethys, who were three thousand in number, and was of an earlier age than Zeus
Zeus
and his siblings. Metis was the first great spouse of Zeus,[1] and also his cousin.[2] Zeus
Zeus
is himself titled Mêtieta ("the wise counsellor"), in the Homeric poems. By the era of Greek philosophy
Greek philosophy
in the 5th century BC, Metis had become the mother of wisdom and deep thought, but her name originally connoted "magical cunning" and was as easily equated with the trickster powers of Prometheus
Prometheus
as with the "royal metis" of Zeus.[2] The Stoic commentators allegorised Metis as the embodiment of "prudence", "wisdom" or "wise counsel", in which form she was inherited by the Renaissance.[3] The Greek word metis meant a quality that combined wisdom and cunning. This quality was considered to be highly admirable in the Mycenean era, with the hero Odysseus
Odysseus
being the embodiment of it. In the Classical era, it was regarded by Athenians as one of the notable characteristics of the Athenian character. Metis was the one who gave Zeus
Zeus
a potion to cause Cronus
Cronus
to vomit out Zeus' siblings.[4] Metis was both a threat to Zeus
Zeus
and an indispensable aid:[5]

Zeus
Zeus
lay with Metis but immediately feared the consequences. It had been prophesied that Metis would bear extremely powerful children: the first, Athena
Athena
and the second, a son more powerful than Zeus
Zeus
himself, who would eventually overthrow Zeus.[6]

In order to forestall these dire consequences, Zeus
Zeus
tricked her into turning herself into a fly and promptly swallowed her.[7] He was too late: Metis had already conceived a child. In time she began making a helmet and robe for her fetal daughter. The hammering as she made the helmet caused Zeus
Zeus
great pain, and Hephaestus
Hephaestus
either clove Zeus's head with an axe,[8] or hit it with a hammer at the river Triton, giving rise to Athena's birth. Athena
Athena
leaped from Zeus's head, fully grown, armed, and armoured, and Zeus
Zeus
was none the worse for the experience. The similarities between Zeus
Zeus
swallowing Metis and Cronus
Cronus
swallowing his children have been noted by several scholars. This also caused some controversy in regard to reproduction myths and the lack of a need for women as a means of reproduction.[9] Hesiod's account is followed by Acusilaus and the Orphic
Orphic
tradition, which enthroned Metis side by side with Eros
Eros
as primal cosmogenic forces. Plato
Plato
makes Poros, or "creative ingenuity", the child of Metis.[10] References[edit]

^ M. Detienne and J.-P. Vernant, Les Ruses de l'intelligence: la Mètis des Grecs (Paris, 1974). ISBN 2-08-081036-7. ^ a b Norman O. Brown, "The Birth of Athena" Transactions and Proceedings of the American Philological Association 83 (1952), pp. 130–143. ^ A.B. Cook, Zeus
Zeus
(1914) 1940, noted in Brown 1952:133 note. ^ Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheke (Apollod. 1.2.1; Hesiod. Theogony 471. ^ Brown 1952:133 ^ Hesiod's Theogony, 886–900 Available at wikisource ^ The Birth of Athena; Greek Goddess Athena. ^ Pindar, Seventh Olympian Ode the first written appearance of this iconic image, which A.B. Cook showed first appears in 6th-century BC vase-painting; previously the Eilithyiaa attend Zeus
Zeus
at the birthing. ^ H. King, "Reproduction Myths". The Oxford University Press, 2001. Oxford University Press Online. York University. 24 October 2011 [1] ^ Symposium.

Further reading[edit]

David Leeming, "Metis". In The Oxford Companion to World Mythology. Oxford University Press, 2004. York University. 24 October 2011 [2]

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Metis (mythology).

Theoi Project: Metis

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Ancient Greek deities by affiliation

Primordial deities

Achlys Aether Aion/Chronos Ananke Chaos Erebus Eros/Phanes Gaia Hemera Nyx The Ourea Pontus/Thalassa Tartarus Uranus Fates

Atropos Clotho Lachesis

Titan deities

Titanes (male)

Coeus Crius Cronus Hyperion Iapetus Oceanus Ophion

Titanides (female)

Dione Eurybia Mnemosyne Phoebe Rhea Tethys Theia Themis

Hyperionides

Eos Helios Selene

Koionides

Asteria Leto

Krionides

Astraeus Pallas Perses

Iapetionides

Atlas Epimetheus Menoetius Prometheus

Mousai (Muses)

Aoide Arche Melete Mneme

Olympian deities

Dodekatheon

Aphrodite Apollo Ares Artemis Athena Demeter Dionysus Hephaestus Hera Hermes Hestia Poseidon Zeus

Theoi Olympioi

Asclepius Deimos Ganymede Eileithyia Enyo Eris Iris Harmonia Hebe Heracles Paean Pan Phobos

Mousai (Muses)

Daughters of Zeus

Calliope Clio Euterpe Erato Melpomene Polyhymnia Terpsichore Thalia Urania

Daughters of Apollo

Apollonis Borysthenis Cephisso

Muses
Muses
of the Lyre

Hypate Mese Nete

Muses
Muses
at Sicyon

Polymatheia

Charites
Charites
(Graces)

Aglaea Antheia Euphrosyne Hegemone Pasithea Thalia

Horae
Horae
(Hours)

Dike Eirene Eunomia

Styktides

Bia Kratos Nike Zelos

Aquatic deities

Theoi Halioi

Amphitrite Benthesikyme Brizo Calypso Ceto Glaucus The Ichthyocentaurs Kymopoleia Leucothea Melicertes Nereus Nerites The Nesoi Oceanus Phorcys Pontus/Thalassa Poseidon Proteus Rhodos Tethys Thaumas Thetis Triton

Oceanids

Acaste Admete Adrasteia Amalthea Asia Callirrhoe Ceto Clytie Dione Dodone Doris Electra Eurynome Idyia Melia Metis Nemesis Perse Pleione Plouto Styx Telesto Zeuxo

Nereides

Amphitrite Arethusa Dynamene Galatea Galene Psamathe Thetis

Potamoi

Achelous Almo Alpheus Anapos Asopus Asterion Axius Caanthus Cebren Cephissus Clitumnus Enipeus Kladeos Meander Nilus Numicus Phyllis Peneus Rivers of the Underworld

Cocytus Eridanos Lethe Phlegethon Styx

Sangarius Scamander Simoeis Strymon

Naiads

Aegina Achiroe Aganippe The Anigrides Argyra Bistonis Bolbe Caliadne Cassotis Castalia Cleocharia Creusa Daphne Drosera Harpina The Ionides Ismenis Larunda Lilaea Liriope Melite Metope Minthe Moria Nana Nicaea Orseis Pallas Pirene Salmacis Stilbe The Thriae

Corycia Kleodora Melaina

Tiasa

Chthonic deities

Theoi Chthonioi

Angelos Demeter Gaia Hades Hecate The Lampads Macaria Melinoë Persephone Zagreus

Erinyes
Erinyes
(Furies)

Alecto Megaera Tisiphone

Earthborn

Cyclopes Gigantes Hecatonchires Kouretes Meliae Telchines Typhon

Apotheothenai

Trophonius Triptolemus Orpheus Aeacus Minos Rhadamanthus

Personifications

Children of Nyx

Achlys Apate Dolos Eleos Elpis Epiphron Eris Geras Hesperides Hybris Hypnos Ker The Keres The Moirai

Aisa Clotho Lachesis

Momus Moros Oizys The Oneiroi

Epiales Morpheus Phantasos Phobetor

Nemesis Philotes Sophrosyne Thanatos

Children of Eris

Algos Amphillogiai Ate The Androktasiai Dysnomia Horkos Hysminai Lethe Limos Machai Phonoi Ponos Neikea Pseudea Logoi

Children of other gods

Aergia Aidos Alala Aletheia Angelia Arete Bia Caerus The Younger Charites

Eucleia Eupheme Euthenia Philophrosyne

Corus Deimos The Erotes

Anteros Eros Hedylogos Hermaphroditus Hymen

Eupraxia Hedone Homonoia Iacchus Kratos The Litae Homonoia Nike Peitho Phobos Tyche Zelos

Others

Adephagia Alala Alke Amechania Anaideia Alastor Apheleia Aporia The Arae Dikaiosyne Dyssebeia Ekecheiria Eulabeia Eusebeia Gelos Heimarmene Homados Horme Ioke Kakia Kalokagathia Koalemos Kydoimos Lyssa The Maniae Methe Nomos Palioxis Peitharchia Penia Penthus Pepromene Pheme Philotes Phrike Phthonus Pistis Poine Polemos Poros Praxidike Proioxis Prophasis Roma Soter Soteria Techne Thrasos

Other deities

Sky deities

The Anemoi The Astra Planeti

Stilbon Eosphorus Hesperus Pyroeis Phaethon Phaenon

Aura Chione The Hesperides The Hyades Nephele The Pleiades

Alcyone Sterope Celaeno Electra Maia Merope Taygete

Agricultural deities

Aphaea Ariadne Carmanor Demeter Despoina Eunostus Philomelus Plutus

Health deities

Asclepius Aceso Epione Iaso Hygieia Panacea Telesphorus

Rustic deities

Aetna The Alseids The Auloniads Amphictyonis The Anthousai Aristaeus Attis Britomartis The Cabeiri Comus The Dryades

Erato Eurydice The Hamadryades

Chrysopeleia

The Epimeliades Hecaterus Leuce Ma The Maenades The Meliae The Napaeae The Nymphai Hyperboreioi The Oreads

Adrasteia Echo Helike Iynx Nomia Oenone Pitys

The Pegasides Priapus Rhapso Silenus Telete

Others

Acratopotes Adrasteia Agdistis Alexiares and Anicetus Aphroditus Astraea Circe Eiresione Enyalius Harpocrates Ichnaea Palaestra

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 74970

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