For those of you who want more info about Greek goddess Athena costumes, here are some basic elements that you have to take into account, so as to be easily recognizable.
Goddess Athena (Minerva in Roman mythology) was usually represented with some basic elements: the owl, an olive branch, the aegis (after Perseus gave her Medusa's head, she put it on her aegis), the helmet, a spear and a shield.
The aegis was a kind of collar made of cloth, inside which there was a shield. Later, this term was used just for the shield. In Homer's words, that's how her shield looked like, in the beginning (don't forget she was born already dressed, as an adult): "a hundred tassels of pure gold hang fluttering from it, tight-woven each of them". I'm sorry I can't find an image for this description, but I think you can invent something, if you are skillful enough.
Below there are links to some of the best known representations of the goddess, so as to have a generic idea about the elements Athena costumes should have:
Phidias, the famous Greek sculptor, made a statue of Athena which was lost, but there are some copies from it and some drawings. The following image contains all the main elements of this statue, which is described as follows: "The statue of Athena is upright, with a tunic reaching to the feet, and on her breast the head of Medusa is worked in ivory. She holds a statue of Victory about four cubits high, and in the other hand a spear":
Athena Parthenos. You can see here the aegis with the head of Medusa.
Another famous representation of the Greek goddess Athena is the following:
Contemplative Athena. In this image you can see her clothes are quite plain.
A simpler (sort of!) representation of the aegis can be found in the following image - here it looks like a kind of necklace, made of snake-shaped links, with a "pendant" in the shape of the Gorgon's head - if you ask me, that's something that can be added to a Halloween costume, everyone will recognize the costume and they'll probably compliment you for your skillfulness -
So, the elements that your Athena costumes should have are the following:
- the peplos - this must be quite easy, I'm giving you a link to a page on Wikipedia describing how to make a peplos. And here is the URL of a pdf which shows you how to make a peplos, on page 5: http://karascope.com/_samplefiles/history_y56_samples.pdf. You can follow the instructions for making a "chiton", but make the folded part wider, until it looks like a kind of tunic, then tie it with a belt and drape it carefully, in the end it will look like 2 overlayed pieces of clothing. And if you have other solutions/ideas, you're more than welcome!
- the helmet (if you can make something similar to the one in the above images)
- the aegis (a necklace made of tassels or a necklace made of "Medusa's head" and the "snakes")
- a shield - you can choose to draw on it Medusa's head or an owl, the bird sacred to the goddess
- an olive branch - you could either make one or draw it on your outfit
- an owl - of course, not a real one! You could either wear a pendant with an owl, or make a headdress shaped like an owl, or - I just have to say it, please bear with me - an owl perched on your shoulder, just like a pirate's parrot! (There, I said it!)
What do you think about this ideas for an Athena costume? Please share your ideas or your experience with us by going to the Comments form on the page Greek Goddess Costumes.