| by Kenneth Chase | 100 comments

The myth of Arachne – Iseult Gillespie


From sailors who were turned into pigs, nymphs that sprouted into trees, and a gaze that converted
the beholder to stone, Greek mythology brims with shape-shifters. The powerful gods usually changed
their own forms at will, but for mortals, the mutations
were often unwanted. One such unnerving transformation
befell the spinner Arachne. Arachne was the daughter
of a tradesman who spent his days dying cloth
the deepest shades of purple. She had a flair for spinning
the finest threads, weaving them into flowing fabric, and creating magnificent tapestries. People flocked to watch her hands
flying across her loom, as if thread sprung directly
from her fingertips. But as praise for her work grew,
so did her pride. Arachne could often be heard
boasting about her skills, declaring that her talent surpassed
anyone else’s—mortal or divine. She refused to see weaving
as a gift from the gods. Rather, she flaunted it
as her own personal genius. Unfortunately, the goddess of wisdom
and crafts, Athena, overheard Arachne
making these claims. Planning to teach
the ungrateful girl a lesson, Athena disguised herself as an old woman
and stole amongst the mortals. She berated Arachne in public— how dare the weaver claim
herself greater than the gods? But Arachne only laughed,
barely looking up from her loom. Provoked, the old woman threw off
her cloak to reveal her true form. If Arachne insisted on defaming the gods, Athena would challenge her
to a contest directly. Masking her shock at the appearance
of the grey-eyed goddess, Arachne accepted the challenge. Athena drew up her own glittering loom
as a great crowd gathered to watch. The weavers began,
eyes fixed and shuttles blurring. Athena conjured
wisps of cloud from above and slender threads of grass
from below in a spectacle of strength. She wove tremendous scenes
that showed the power of the gods: Poseidon riding the waves, Zeus firing thunderbolts, and Apollo hurtling across the sky. In Athena’s splendid tapestry,
the glory of the gods dwarfed mortal life. But Arachne had no interest
in boosting godly egos. Her tapestry showed the gods
abusing their power: squabbling amongst themselves, drinking and bragging, and meddling in the lives of mortals. She represented Zeus as a philanderer,
transfiguring himself to ensnare women: a swan for Leda, a bull for Europa, a shower of gold for Danae. Arachne then turned
to the misdemeanors of other gods, from Pluto’s abduction of Persephone to Bacchus’s wild pursuit of Erigone. Even though she cast the gods
in the most unflattering light, Arachne’s work shone
with her dazzling skill. Her tapestry was almost alive, filled with movement
and lustrous colors that winked triumphantly. When Athena saw Arachne’s undeniably
better and flagrantly subversive work, she flew into a rage
and turned on the human weaver. Arachne’s glee dimmed as she felt her body
shrinking and contorting. Her fingers waved wildly
as her arms stuck to her sides, and black hair
sprouted all over her body. The goddess left Arachne with a single
spool of thread unfurling from her belly, a slim reminder of her human talent. For challenging the assumption
that the gods were untouchable, Athena had shrunk her adversary
into the first spider. To this day, Arachne and her children spin
out her penance— or is it undaunted persistence?— in the shadows of giants.

100 Comments

Itzmeh_ Potatoe

Sep 9, 2019, 9:26 pm Reply

My sis: EEEEK!!! THERE IS A SPIDER KILL IT!!!!
Arachne: am I a joke to you?

Salt Gamer

Sep 9, 2019, 11:43 pm Reply

3:08 y did u use hades’s Roman name

Heidi Barker

Sep 9, 2019, 11:07 am Reply

Did you just say Pluto? Isn't it Hades?

Magic and Challenges

Sep 9, 2019, 2:45 pm Reply

So you mean a salty god challenged a mortal, lost and then threw a fit?

Leah Sanchez

Sep 9, 2019, 12:07 am Reply

There are many versions of this story some say Arachne won some say Athena won most accounts say they were tied so I'll go with that they said Athena grudgingly accepted their equal talent but then Arachne made a snide comment then bam spider

Nero

Sep 9, 2019, 12:45 am Reply

moral: gods are sore losers

Yamahta V.2

Sep 9, 2019, 4:33 am Reply

Athena: ya wanna fight

Aidan Weaston

Sep 9, 2019, 4:15 pm Reply

Yes

Nihilist Boi

Oct 10, 2019, 6:25 pm Reply

This is why kratos exists

Liffo

Oct 10, 2019, 3:37 am Reply

SO (breathes in)… We have spiders on are Earth now because some goddess couldn't believe that a mortal was better than a god? 🕷

Some Guy

Oct 10, 2019, 5:06 am Reply

Wait this is just like the Philippine mythology

Exolette

Oct 10, 2019, 8:18 am Reply

Athena is horrible at playing-goddess.

Anime Lover4life

Oct 10, 2019, 3:39 am Reply

Ooooh, the tea is scorching

Israel Alcantasauce

Oct 10, 2019, 12:38 am Reply

she just got angry that she lost

Kara Penny

Oct 10, 2019, 1:09 am Reply

BTW purple was one of the most expensive colors of all time

KrookT

Oct 10, 2019, 9:21 am Reply

The first spiderwoman huh… amazing

Paramita Das

Oct 10, 2019, 5:00 pm Reply

Who watched this video because of The heroes of Olympus: The mark of athena ?

Ryan Chavez

Oct 10, 2019, 3:25 am Reply

Athena:abuses her powers to try to win
Arachne:wins by pure talent proving her point
Athena:takes rage quiting to a new leven

_Legit_A_ _Pansexual_Gurl_

Oct 10, 2019, 8:49 am Reply

I just paused at 3:33 and I regret-

Erminia Severino

Oct 10, 2019, 5:33 pm Reply

that’s not how I know the story. Actually, Athena acknowledged Arachne as a great spinner, but still sees that she cannot let her keep her human form, because that would cause humans to think they can be better than gods. So she turns Arachne into a spider, not as a punishment but more as a gift.

Dani Lo

Oct 10, 2019, 10:15 am Reply

I have read a version of this. When Athena shouted Arachne goes to the woods and suicide because of fear then Athena just turned her into an insect named spider out of pity.

Allen 88

Oct 10, 2019, 10:29 pm Reply

From what I knew the myth was different…Athena won and she turned into a spider Arachne because it was a condition of the challenge

Thomas Higgins

Oct 10, 2019, 1:35 am Reply

I love how they called Hades
Just Hades by his Roman name, Pluto

Diamond Kinger

Oct 10, 2019, 2:58 am Reply

Who is here from school because I am in 7th grade.

Kobuii

Oct 10, 2019, 10:20 pm Reply

Anyone else notice the name Arachne? Sounds sort of like arachnid…? eh? eh?

dexter

Oct 10, 2019, 12:01 pm Reply

Don't blame God for spiders

Abdul Basito

Oct 10, 2019, 2:54 am Reply

Ted ED do a world issue videos instead of Greeks videoa

Deepti Kandari

Oct 10, 2019, 11:56 am Reply

1:44, Athena lied,some god of wisdom

LadyJosie

Oct 10, 2019, 5:15 am Reply

You guys should really do The Taking of Persephone. With Lore Olympus getting an animated series, i think it be a timely thing to tell the original myth that inspired its modern retelling.

BlueBerryFairy1

Oct 10, 2019, 3:56 pm Reply

XD "Spinne" (female article, no other in use for males except other species) is actually the german word for spider

M NG

Oct 10, 2019, 6:54 am Reply

Tsk, tsk, Mark of Athena, anyone? #HeroesOfOlympus

ioan kok

Oct 10, 2019, 10:00 am Reply

This is ancient Greek mythology.

Hannah Ybanez

Oct 10, 2019, 2:01 pm Reply

You mean god

day gloomy not sunny

Oct 10, 2019, 12:38 pm Reply

So that’s the history of arachnophobia 🕷 BOO

Amy Chen

Oct 10, 2019, 9:04 pm Reply

I got this from another comment
"angered the gods" = someone who slightly busted their fragile egos.

happySINGINGpeople

Oct 10, 2019, 5:09 am Reply

I hadn't heard this story before. Love it!

Artomic

Oct 10, 2019, 11:26 am Reply

Arachne: Gods Abuse their power
Athena: That is not true
Also Athena: proceeds to abuse her power

Dire Dragon

Oct 10, 2019, 7:28 pm Reply

Wasn't Persephone Abducted by hades?

Kont Vladimir

Oct 10, 2019, 8:37 pm Reply

Athena:if i win i will turn you into spider,if you win i will turn you into spider

Blueish Dragonxx

Oct 10, 2019, 1:33 am Reply

Now i know why the fear of spiders is called “arachnophobia”

Not FLAZ

Oct 10, 2019, 6:22 pm Reply

Ahhh. So thats why they call them arachnids.

WCmonkey Adventures

Oct 10, 2019, 8:56 pm Reply

Isn’t jealousy a sin?

ReshzY

Oct 10, 2019, 5:24 am Reply

well someone was salty

Lam Anh Tran

Oct 10, 2019, 10:13 am Reply

Soooooo….. she was mad and punished Arachne because she was better than her???

BooBooBunny

Oct 10, 2019, 3:18 pm Reply

All I saw was a very talented girl who let it get to her head, so a goddess had to put her in place. The goddess unfortunately took it too far. This story didn’t really have any hero’s or villains in it, but it was quite fascinating.

RAYHAN ADYL PUTHUCHEARY

Oct 10, 2019, 8:07 am Reply

questions arent pluto and bacchus supposed to be hades and dionysus. idk just asking

Aquamadine

Oct 10, 2019, 10:09 am Reply

How… wise of Athena.

Phoenix Wiseman

Oct 10, 2019, 2:26 pm Reply

charlottes webs great great great great grandmother's great grand mother

TheSuperGabe

Oct 10, 2019, 12:24 am Reply

oml that scream😰

Aoki Aoki

Oct 10, 2019, 2:51 am Reply

Arachne = spider in Greeks

[ Mïnt Çh〇cǒ

Oct 10, 2019, 10:58 am Reply

goddess of wisdom

memes: i will end this womans career. and wizdom

3Emma_Moon3 LolloL

Oct 10, 2019, 8:14 pm Reply

Athena got offended because it is like offending their religion.

KamiSilver

Nov 11, 2019, 1:56 am Reply

Pluto and Bacchus are Roman gods!!! It's Uranus and Dionyssus for the Greeks. Second video I see with these basic errors. Ruined it for me.

BrownyBear

Nov 11, 2019, 12:45 am Reply

i mean that was kinda unfair how athena turned her to a spider i mean she did challenge arachne after all and then lost

Alexa Her

Nov 11, 2019, 12:14 am Reply

I know this it was my reading test.

ßòőßý łőľ

Nov 11, 2019, 5:44 am Reply

madusa

Eurinomio

Nov 11, 2019, 11:43 am Reply

And regarding Zeus she forgot some men too, like Ganymede. Zeus shapeshifted in an eagle and take him away to be his lover and the cup-bearer of the gods. XD.

Alex the Wolfia

Nov 11, 2019, 12:58 pm Reply

After watching this, now I wonder if this potentially happened, what myths do Arachne's children tell? Does it go the same route as this one, or do they shame Athena and the other gods like their "former mother"?

Kazunari Keito

Nov 11, 2019, 2:45 pm Reply

Well remember Athena got jealous of Medusa's real beauty before and purposely changed her to a beast… Yeapp god of wisdom

Pusheen -Chan

Nov 11, 2019, 2:16 am Reply

Athena did this and now all her children are afraid of spiders

caleb kennedy

Nov 11, 2019, 10:42 am Reply

Arachne: proves she’s better

Athena: omae wa mu shinderu!!

Arachne:Nani!!

Spider time

LinkVsGaming b

Nov 11, 2019, 3:25 pm Reply

Imqgine being one of those people seing a god and just standing there

No Name Bob

Nov 11, 2019, 7:14 am Reply

But she still won

Ali Rose

Nov 11, 2019, 1:01 am Reply

There are different versions. The one I read was about Athena winning and arachanne getting upset and telling her horrible things then athena teaching her a lesson and turning her into a spider. So Athena isint that bad. Although she has made some very unwise decisions in the past, it’s all about perspective.

Oded Fried-Gaon

Nov 11, 2019, 11:23 am Reply

Be humble, not like Gods.
#OdedFriedGaon #OdedMusic #Audioded #OdedInformation

Amenouzu

Nov 11, 2019, 4:30 pm Reply

prounounced : perr-seff-onii
my pronounce : perr-suh-phone

Нежить

Nov 11, 2019, 9:51 pm Reply

So Athena is basically a bi*h

Ali Reza

Nov 11, 2019, 11:14 pm Reply

In other versions of the story Athena was actually the winner and Arachne never stood a chance, but I'm still not saying Athena turning Arachne into spider was a good thing though

Double Slash

Nov 11, 2019, 1:42 pm Reply

Bad Ted-Ed use Greek names like Hades and Dionysus, not Pluto and Bachuss

Reaper’s Babe

Nov 11, 2019, 3:34 pm Reply

Not cool, Athena (btw every Mythological God seems to do/be the exact opposite of what they’re representing)

Midnight Playz17

Nov 11, 2019, 3:10 am Reply

Athena:the god of wisdom

Me:YOU TURNED SOMEONE INTO A SPIDER OVER YOUR TEMPER!!!

FrostyDesert

Nov 11, 2019, 5:34 am Reply

Is is weird that I know this thing from supernatural?

Motionless Min

Nov 11, 2019, 12:21 pm Reply

First Snakes now spider?

Tantan 123

Nov 11, 2019, 3:58 pm Reply

Goddess of wisdom is mad that she is better so he was a rage monster after i say oof mf go turn me into a guy who rages alot

Ashutosh Bhardwaj

Nov 11, 2019, 12:37 pm Reply

So, Athena always used to have f*cks to be given out as lose as a change for a bill. Huh, turning a craftswoman into a spider, a temple maid into a serpentine monstress; Who can do it? Athena would!
I feel like she was the diva of her own time.
P.S.: If misogyny were a person then it'd definitely be given birth by…… You guessed it right! XO.

Shivam Agarwal

Nov 11, 2019, 5:03 pm Reply

This is the thing with the supposed god. Egoistic bastards who are jealous and irresponsible ( in any mythology) how can people worship them.

Jude Duven

Nov 11, 2019, 10:37 am Reply

why are all the Greek gods so damn petty

Rinrada Waengsothon

Nov 11, 2019, 5:26 pm Reply

Athena shouldn’t be a goddess, she should be a human to see what it’s like to get turned into a spider then people step on her

Vadapalli Chaitu

Nov 11, 2019, 6:18 am Reply

This is what great about polytheistic religions they don't show God or Gods are great they are always kept in grey and humans sometimes are right. You can rarely see something like that in abrahamic relegions

SID T

Nov 11, 2019, 7:48 am Reply

If u r powerful u r always right

Chap man

Nov 11, 2019, 9:23 pm Reply

Arachne: I’m the best weaver around not even a god can beat me!

Athena: I’m about to end this women’s whole career.

Vanz :O

Nov 11, 2019, 9:48 pm Reply

Hoes mad

soham kore

Nov 11, 2019, 8:23 am Reply

You mean goddess of wisdom is the reason I burned Down my previous house???

Strawberry Milk

Nov 11, 2019, 5:46 pm Reply

I mean arachne wasn't wrong with her tapestry, Athena was the direct proof cuz she couldn't accept loosing lmao

Jenny Pai

Nov 11, 2019, 11:48 pm Reply

that's not the same as how I learned the myth. I learned it as that Athena won, so naturally Arachne was punished for being boastful and prideful and arrogant

Animesh Pathak

Nov 11, 2019, 9:18 am Reply

i could be archne any day and die a spider but that thot needs her ego to level up,

Gary Stu

Nov 11, 2019, 10:58 am Reply

In other stories, both of the tapestries were equal, then Arachne insulted the goddess more, and then Athena turned Arachne into a spider. In one story, Athena actually won.

Shea Villalobos

Nov 11, 2019, 11:11 pm Reply

at least arachne could live with the fact that she beat a goddess

Magician Mahesh

Nov 11, 2019, 10:44 am Reply

How many felt sad for arachne??

blijah

Nov 11, 2019, 9:57 pm Reply

Yoooo thas fuckin crrraaazy🤯🤯🤯😭😭😭

HunnoBunno

Nov 11, 2019, 7:01 am Reply

Athena “goddes of wisdom” yeah right

Ghost The Ghost Host

Nov 11, 2019, 2:12 am Reply

Zeus, Posiedon, Pluto the Roman God.

His name is Hades in Greek Mythology and if you're gonna call everyone else their Greek names, you call Hades the same too.

popeye2u

Nov 11, 2019, 10:24 pm Reply

Everybody was covering their eyes at my class 😂

Aesthetickpop _223

Nov 11, 2019, 2:55 am Reply

Love should not be boastful

DayVon McClain

Nov 11, 2019, 1:45 pm Reply

I feel like the moral of the story is hoes be petty

Milo Milo

Nov 11, 2019, 5:48 am Reply

Athena is the god of talent and skill

a fluffy bunny

Nov 11, 2019, 7:01 am Reply

That is not a greek myth, that an aligory for youtubes copyright system

Vasile Szabo

Nov 11, 2019, 1:56 pm Reply

As I learn more about the Greek gods, I am more and more grateful that Kratos killed them all.

Jamie Peay

Nov 11, 2019, 11:50 pm Reply

one might compare this myth with the parable of christ concerning the talents – Matthew 25:14-30.

'“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his wealth to them. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two bags, and to another one bag,[a] each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received five bags of gold went at once and put his money to work and gained five bags more. So also, the one with two bags of gold gained two more. But the man who had received one bag went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

“After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. The man who had received five bags of gold brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five bags of gold. See, I have gained five more.’

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

“The man with two bags of gold also came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with two bags of gold; see, I have gained two more.’

“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

“Then the man who had received one bag of gold came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. So I was afraid and went out and hid your gold in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’

“His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned I would have received it back with interest.

“‘So take the bag of gold from him and give it to the one who has ten bags. For whoever has will be given more, and they will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them. And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’"

Antonio Cool Guy

Nov 11, 2019, 7:28 pm Reply

Arachne: (Sews the truth about life)
Athena: Oh what I'm gonna do to you.

(Angry noises)

Athena: (Pant, Pant, Pant) I'm so ANGRY! (rattling intensifies) First… I'm gonna tear your lips out. Yeah, that's what I'm gonna do. And then… I'm gonna…. GOUGE your eyes out. Yeah!…. That's what I'm gonna do. 

Arachne: Athena, how long will u keep this up?

Athena: Yeah, you're bored, huh? Next… I'm gonna… T-t-t-t-t… T-t-TTT….. TEAR your arms out of the sockets!

Arachne: wtf

Athena: And you wanna know what else? I'm gonna squish ya, and you're gonna die…. And I'm gonna look down and I'm gonna laugh.

Arachne: what do you mean.

Athena: BUT FIRST………*FIRST* 

(Arachne then gets transformed into a spider)

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