Last modified on 6 December 2007, at 13:57

Athena

Milton, in his Comus, thus alludes to the Aegis:

"What was that snaky-headed Gorgon-shield
That wise Minerva wore, unconquered virgin,
Wherewith she freezed her foes to congealed stone,
But rigid looks of chaste austerity,
And noble grace that dashed brute violence
With sudden adoration and blank awe!"


Iliad 5: 841-857 (Fagles translation)

"Then Athena, child of Zeus whose shield is thunder,
letting fall her supple robe at the Father's threshold -
rich brocade, stitched with her own hand's labor-
donned the battle-shirt of the lord of lightning,
buckled her breastplate geared for wrenching war
and over her shoulders slung her shield, all tassels
flaring terror - Panic mounted high in a crown around it,
Hate and Defense across it, Assault to freeze the blood
and right in their midst the Gorgon's monstrous head,
that rippling dragon horror, sign of storming Zeus.
Then over her brows Athena placed her golden helmet
fronted with four knobs and forked with twin horns,
engraved with the fighting men of a hundred towns.
The onto the flaming chariot Pallas set her feet
and seized her spear - weighted, heavy, the massive shaft
she wields to break the battle lines of heroes
the mighty Father's daughter storms against."