The Story of Arachne

Arachne and Athena

A fabulous spider-silk cloth on exhibit at Chicago Museum of Art shows one of the more unusual ways in which we associate spiders with weaving. But perhaps the most famous connection is the Greek myth of the gifted weaver Arachne. According to the myth, when Arachne boasted that her weaving was better than that of Athena, the goddess of weaving, Athena became angry and challenged Arachne to a weaving contest. Athena wove a cloth depicting good deeds of the gods, but Arachne wove about their foolishness. When Athena saw Arachne's tapestry she became enraged at the insulting images, but also because Arachne's weaving was better than Athena's.

In her rage, Athena  turned Arachne into a spider, doomed to spin and weave her whole life long. While the Greeks saw this as punishment, it may sound pretty good to those of us who struggle to find enough weaving time. 222





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