Originally, the Greek word was the combination of cunning and wisdom. These qualities were highly prized by the Myceneans and particularly by heroes like Odysseus. Odysseus was often considered to be the embodiment of metis, embracing both cunning and wisdom. Throughout Athens, metis was a characteristic of the typical Athenian character.
Metis was one of Zeus’ greatest counselors in his war with Cronus. In mythology, she was the Titanness who gave Zeus the drink to force Cronus to vomit up the other siblings. Zeus was even considered to be afraid of Metis. Zeus felt she was a threat even though he desperately needed her. It was revealed through a prophecy that the children of Metis would be incredibly powerful, possibly more powerful than Zeus himself. One of her children is Athena, the goddess of wisdom. But to prevent a child being born who was stronger than himself, Zeus turned Metis into a fly and ate her whole.
However, Metis was already pregnant with his child. She made a robe and a helmet for her daughter even as she was inside Zeus. As Metis hammered the helmet, she caused Zeus incredible pain. In some stories, Hephaestus broke open Zeus’ head with an axe to relieve the pain. In others, Hephaestus hit Zeus with a hammer by the river Triton.
From there, Athena leapt from the head of Zeus. When she was born, she was not born as a child. Rather she was an adult, fully formed, with her helmet in hand. She was born fully armed as well.
In Hesiod’s Theogony, Metis is considered to be one of the primal forces of the universe that took part in the creation of the universe. Metis never had the second son that would overthrow Zeus.
Link/cite this page
If you use any of the content on this page in your own work, please use the code below to cite this page as the source of the content.
Link will appear as Metis – Titan of Wisdom: https://greekgodsandgoddesses.net - Greek Gods & Goddesses, October 21, 2019