Alalcomene nurses Minerva. A.M.2250.

WAG 7663


This is part of a group of drawings by British artist and book illustrator Edward Francis Burney, depicting scenes from Greek and Roman history and mythology. Alalcomeneis is one of the surnames of the Greek goddess Athena. Rather than being born, Athena was said to have sprung from the forehead of her father, Zeus, fully grown and wearing her armour. She was the virgin goddess of reason, warfare, the arts and civilisation. The surname Alalcomeneis is said to be derived either from the hero Alalcomenes, one of the so called 'Golden Race' who raised Athena, or the village Alalcomene where she was said to have been born. Here, Burney depicts Athena's caregiver as a female figure, rather than the male figure of Alalcomenes.