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Book 6: Arachne Notes from Metamorphoses

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Metamorphoses Book 6: Arachne

Athene listened to the Muses' story of avenging themselves against impudent mortals, and she was reminded of a tale she'd heard of a girl named Arachne who bragged that her weaving gift was greater than Athene's. The goddess decided to take her up on the challenge. She first appeared to the girl in the disguise of an old woman to warn her against challenging the gods, but Arachne would hear none of it. Athene then appeared as herself and they had a weaving contest. Athene chose to show scenes of the gods wreaking vengeance on mortals who challenged them, while Arachne wove scenes of the delinquency of the gods. When they were done, Athene could find no flaw in the girl's work and flew into a rage. She beat Arachne in the head with the wooden shuttle from the loom, and rather than take such abuse, Arachne tried to hang herself. In a moment of pity, Athene commanded that the girl must hang, but live, and she transformed Arachne into a spider.

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