PUTEAL WITH DECORATION IN RELIEF: THE BIRTH OF ATHENA
According to the myth, when Zeus received a prophecy predicting his child by Metis will exceed him in strength, he swallowed his pregnant lover. Athene was thus not borne by a woman, but stepped forth in full armour from the head of her father, struck by the hammer of Hephaistos. The relief depicts this very moment: Zeus sits enthroned, with Hephaistos, the god of blacksmiths behind him, while Athena, ready for battle, is crowned by Nike, the goddess of victory. The Moirai appear beside them: these three goddesses spun (Clotho), allotted (Lachesis), then cut (Atropos) the thread of human life.