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Pallas Athena. Roman copy of Greek statue

In Greek mythology, Pallas was an epithet for Athena. There are, however, several Pallades(feminine plural) and Pallantes (masculine plural).

Pallas was the playmate of Athena, a daughter of the god Triton (or Tritonis), her foster-father. One day, while Pallas and Athena were sparring, Zeus appeared between them with the aegis and Pallas, in her fear, forgot to parry a blow from Athena. She was killed and Athena mourned her by becoming "Pallas Athena". She also carved from a tree trunk a statue of Pallas, the Palladium, which she left with Zeus. Later Electra, whom Zeus seduced, took refuge behind this palladium; Zeus tossed it away and it fell on the land of Ilium (Troy), where Ilus had a temple built for it.

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Pallas was also a Titan, son of Crius and Eurybia, husband of Styx. He was the father of Zelus, Nike, Cratos, and Bia (and sometimes, Eos or Selene). This Pallas was the god of wisdom. Aeson was the name of his horse.

An archaic winged god is also named Pallas, with wings attached either to the ankles or to his back, like the archaic winged goddesses. He was, according to one tradition, the father of Pallas Athena and tried to rape her. She killed him and tore his skin off to make the Aegis.

The Death Of Pallas, Jacques-Henri Sablet

Yet another Pallas, a goatish Giant, confronted Athena during the Gigantomachy; she killed him and also turned his skin into the aegis.

The last Pallas is the son of Lycaon and founder of the Arcadian town of Pallantion. He was the teacher of Athena, yet also the father of Nike and Chryse, two manifestations of Athena. The incest motif appears yet again, in the form of a consummated marriage between her and her teacher.


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