Athena « Peter Johnsson | Swordsmith




Athena sprang fully formed and fully armoured from the head of Zeus after Hephaistos cured his persistent migraine by cleaving his skull with an axe. Athena had gestated inside Zeus after he devoured his pregnant first wife Metis, the goddess of good counsel, wisdom and magical cunning. Athena inherited the best aspects of both parents. Hers is the power to defend cities through strategic warfare and courage. Tellingly, she is also the goddess of inspiration, civilization, law and justice as well as mathematics, and the arts and crafts (especially weaving).


The war god Ares fears Athena as she, through her virtues of justice and skill, represents the intellectual and civilized side of warfare while he represents mere martial bloodlust on the battlefield.


The form and proportions of the Athena sword are based on a geometry that defines the hilt to blade ratio as 2:9. The blade width is 1/4 of the basic circle with a profile taper that is defined by an ad quadratum construction. The diameter of the pommel and the width of the guard are 1/3 of the hilt length. The decorative figures of the hilt and the scabbard mounts show different geometric constructions derived from the dimensions of the parts.

Created: 2019

Total length: 979 mm

Blade length: 798 mm

Blade width: 45 mm

Weight: 1055 g

Point of balance: 91 mm from guard


Materials & techniques: The blade is forged in 540 layeres of 1084 and 15N20 steel in random thickness showing chatoyance effects. Pommel and guard forged in iron with details of 24k gold and fine silver overlaid and inlayed. The grip is wrapped with silver wire and mounted with cast sterling silver ferrules. The scabbard is felt lined and covered in linen with linen thread applications. The outer layer is schellack with details in leaf gold. Scabbard mounts are fabricated in iron and silver, with inlays and overlay of 24k gold and fine silver. The suspension rings are cast in sterling silver.

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