Athena appeared in many Greek myths, having major roles in Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey and in ancient plays dealing with justice and democracy. Born from Zeus’ head, she was a contradictory figure in many ways. She was the goddess of war and a protector of civilization. She was capable of being a good friend to humans, yet she could also be fiercely vindictive and hand out punishment to men and women alike without a second thought. Temples were raised to her throughout Greece—including the famous Parthenon. The city of Athens, a military power and cultural center, embodied the goddess for whom it was named.