Poseidon and Athena are both major deities in Greek mythology, and there are several myths that suggest a longstanding rivalry or conflict between the two. In one version of the myth, Poseidon and Athena were both contenders for the role of patron deity of the city of Athens. According to the myth, the two gods presented their gifts to the city, with Poseidon offering a saltwater spring and Athena offering an olive tree. The city’s citizens chose Athena’s gift, and in anger, Poseidon caused earthquakes and other natural disasters to plague the city.
Another reason for the hostility between the two deities is that they represented conflicting elements. Athena was associated with wisdom, crafts, and strategy, while Poseidon was associated with the sea, earthquakes, and horses. This may have contributed to a sense of competition between the two deities, as they each sought to prove their superiority in their respective domains.
It is also possible that the animosity between Poseidon and Athena was simply a reflection of the larger cultural tensions between the city-states of Athens and Corinth, which were both associated with the respective deities. In this context, the myth of the rivalry between Poseidon and Athena may have served as a way to explain and justify the ongoing conflict between the two cities.
Overall, the exact reason for the hostility between Poseidon and Athena remains unclear and may be the result of a combination of factors. Regardless of the cause, the myth of their rivalry has endured for centuries and continues to be a significant part of Greek mythology.