Ate ( Ἄτη), a Greek word for 'ruin, folly, delusion', is the action performed by the hero, usually because of his hubris, or great pride, that leads to his death or downfall. There is also a goddess by that name (Até) in Greek mythology, a personification of the same.

In Homer's Iliad she is called eldest daughter of Zeus with no mother mentioned. On Hera's instigation she used her influence over Zeus so that he swore an oath that on that day a mortal descended from him would be born who would be a great ruler. Hera immediately arranged to delay the birth of Heracles and to bring forth Eurystheus prematurely. In anger Zeus threw Ate down to earth forever, forbidding that she ever return to heaven or to Mt. Olympus. Ate then wandered about, treading on the heads of men rather than on the earth, wreaking havoc on mortals.

The Litae ('Prayers') follow after her but Ate is fast and far outruns them.

Apollodorus (3.143) claims that when thrown down by Zeus, Ate landed on a peak in Phrygia called by her name. There Ilus later, following a cow, founded the city of Ilion, that is Troy. This splendid flourish is chronologically at odds with Homer's dating of Ate's fall.

In Hesiod's Theogony the mother of Ate is Eris ('Strife'), with no father mentioned—so one can imagine Ate as daughter of Zeus by Eris if one wishes.

In Nonnos' Dionysiaca (11.113), at Hera's instigation Ate persuades the boy Ampelus whom Dionysus passionately loves to impress Dionysus by riding on a bull from which Ampelus subsequently falls and breaks his neck.

Mythology Images

Retrieved from " "
All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License