Athena Parthenos is a forty-feet-tall statue of the goddess Athena which was once the central figure in the Parthenon of Athens. The Parthenos had the figure of Athena carved from ivory, wearing a gold toga, and holding a statue of the goddess Nike on her palm. The statue's other hand held a shield, with a snake emerging from behind it. Annabeth Chase thought that the Parthenos was a perfect likeness of Athena, and that the sculptor must have met her.
When the Roman Empire conquered Greece, they took the Parthenos as a way of breaking Greece's spirit. As Athena became Minerva, she lost her status as a war goddess; the capture of the Parthenos was seen as an act of belittlement to Athena, and the source of the seemingly eternal conflict between Greek and Roman demigods. According to legends among the Romans, every civil war between the Greeks and the Romans was started by children of Athena. In every subsequent generation after the Parthenos's capture, Athena charged one of her children to recover the statue, by following the Mark of Athena through the city of Rome. The Parthenos itself was protected by Arachne, who wove spider webs around it to contain its power, though the Parthenos was still powerful enough that monsters burrowed up under the floor, leaving only a thin layer of tile and spider webs between Arachne's chamber and a pit straight to Tartarus. All of Athena's children, up to Annabeth Chase, had failed in retrieving the statue.
Annabeth Chase finally succeeds where generations of her siblings have failed. She successfully followed the Mark of Athena to Arachne's chamber. Even though she injured her ankle, she outwitted and trapped the spider in its own woven prison, relating to a line in a prophecy. The Argo II arrives, blasting open the ceiling, and sending debris down the chamber, ruining the floors where Arachne believes leads to Tartarus, and the spider falls into the pit. As Leo Valdez, Frank Zhang, and Jason Grace secure the Athena Parthenos, just barely fitting it inside the ship. However, Annabeth and Percy Jackson are dragged into the pit leading to Tartarus by Arachne.
The Athena Parthenos is in located in the lower deck of the ship where the sick room and stables are. Leo states that he has been trying to find for secret weapons or machinery in the statue, but there is none. Leo is caught holding onto the miniature Nike that is held in Athena's hand.
At the end of the book, Nico, Reyna and Coach Hedge leave to transport the statue back to Camp Half Blood as a way to make amends, although Coach Hedge believes that they should launch it at Gaea as a missile.
- Athena Parthenos means "Athena the Virgin."
- The Athena Parthenos was sculpted by an artisan named Phidias.
- The Statue was stolen by the ancient Romans to break the spirit of the Greeks.
- The Statue has to be returned to Camp Half-Blood by a Roman officer to heal the rift.
- The Athena Parthenos is infused with the power of Athena.
|Personal Weapons:||Riptide | Annabeth's Knife | Backbiter | Frank's Spear | Hazel's Spatha | Katoptris | Nico's Sword | Thalia's Spear | Aegis | Maimer | Kronos' Scythe | Ivlivs | Master Bolt | Poseidon's Trident | Sword of Hades | Reyna's Spear | Hades' Staff | Juno's Gladius | Annabeth's Sword|
|Magical Items:||Annabeth's Yankees Cap | Helm of Darkness | Keys of Hades | Flying Chariot | Golden Apple | Greek Fire | Hermes' Multivitamins | Leo's Magical Toolbelt | Nectar and Ambrosia | Pandora's Pithos | Winged Shoes | The Golden Fleece | Stygian Ice Whistle | Serapis' Staff|
|Spoils of War:||The Minotaur's Horn | Medusa's Head | Kampê's Scimitars | Nemean Lion's Pelt | Gorgon Blood | Cornucopia|
|Items:||Camp Necklace | Chameleon Armor | Daedalus' Laptop | Golden drachma | Denarius | Mark of Athena | The Pax | Video Shield | Wristwatch Shield | Golden Mango | Sibylline Books|
|Blessed Metals:||Celestial Bronze | Imperial Gold | Stygian Iron|