Greek Mythology Wiki


Arachne after her transformation

Arachne was a great mortal weaver who boasted that her skill was greater than that of Athena, goddess of wisdom and strategy.


Arachne refused to acknowledge that her knowledge came, in part at least, from the goddess. Offended by Arachne's arrogance, Athena set a contest between the two weavers. According to Ovid, the goddess was so envious of the magnificent tapestry and the mortal weaver's success, and perhaps offended by the girl's choice of subjects (the loves and transgressions of the gods), that she destroyed the tapestry and loom and slashed the girl's face. “Not even Pallas nor blue-fevered Envy \ Could damn Arachne's work. \ The goddess raged at the girl's success, struck through her loom, tore down the scenes of wayward joys in heaven". Ultimately, the goddess turned Arachne into a spider, and Arachne's offsrping had all taken a vow to find and hurt those of Athenian descent.

In another version of the myth, Arachne had committed suicide by hanging herself. Athena found her, and took pity upon her. The Goddess resurrected Arachne, but as a spider rather that a human.


  • Arachne means "spider" (ἀράχνη).
  • Despite the myths saying that Arachne was revived as a spider, she is only depicted as a spider body with human torso. Its possible that she wasn't actually transformed into a spider, but as a monster with spider attributes.
  • Arachne is a playable character in the MOBA game Smite.


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