Athena. See Minerva.
Athenaeus, a Greek writer of the early part of the 3d century of the Christian era, born at Naucratis in Egypt. He is chiefly known as the author of the Deipnosophistm ("Banquet of the Learned "), a voluminous work of imaginary table talk on almost every conceivable subject, especially gastronomy, between certain learned men while enjoying themselves at supper in the house of an imaginary Roman named Laurentius, with Galen the physician and Ulpian the jurist among the guests. It consisted of 15 books, but only the 1st and 2d, and parts of the 3d, 11th, and 15th, are now extant in an epitome, of which we know neither the date nor the compiler. Notwithstanding its many literary and artistic defects, the great mass of information which it contains, and the light which it throws on the manners of the ancients, will ever cause the Deipnoso-phistm to be prized by the scholar and the antiquary. The best edition of this work is that of Dindorf (3 vols. 8vo, Leipsic, 1827).
Athenagoras, a Greek philosopher of the 2d century, who became a convert to Christianity, and flourished probably in the reigns of Marcus Aurelius and his son Commodus. It is said that he was a native of Athens, and first master of the catechetical school at Alexandria. Intending to write against the Christians, he applied himself to the study of the Scriptures, became convinced of their truth, and addressed an apology to one of the emperors in behalf of the Christians. He also wrote a treatise in defence of the doctrine of the resurrection. These works of Athenagoras are still extant. Their style is Attic and elegant. The best edition is that of the Benedictines (Paris, 1742).
Athlone, a market town and parliamentary borough of Ireland, on both sides of the river Shannon, near its entrance into Lough Ree, partly in Westmeath and partly in Roscommon, 08 m. W. of Dublin; pop. in 1871, 6,617. The opposite shores of the river are here united by a handsome bridge, and a canal has been formed to avoid the rapids at this point, thus making navigation practicable for 70 miles higher up the stream. The castle on the right bank of the river, with its outworks, covers 15 acres. It is connected by railway with Dublin and Galway, and an active trade is carried on by steamers with Limerick and Shannon harbor, and with Dublin by the Grand and Royal canals. After the battle of the Boyne William III. besieged Athlone unsuccessfully, but it was taken by Gen. Ginkell, June 30, 1691.
Athole Athol, or Atholl, a district in the northern part of Perthshire, Scotland, embracing about 450 sq. m. It is picturesque and mountainous, some of the summits attaining an elevation of more than 3,000 feet. It contains several lakes and beautiful valleys, among which is the pass of Killiecrankie, where Graham of Claverhouse gained a victory and met his death in 1689. Agriculture is carried on in the valleys, while on the hills sheep and cattle are pastured.