The very name Arachnida, the arthropod class to which the spiders belong, is derived from the story of the Greek maiden from Lydia, Arachne, who was so skilled as a weaver that she had the audacity to challenge the goddess Athena to a weaving contest.
Athena accepted the challenge and wove a tapestry depicting the majesty of the gods while Arachne wove one depicting the gods' amorous adventures or love affairs.
Enraged at the perfection of her rival's work, Athena tore it to shreds, which so upset the maiden that she hanged herself. Out of pity, Athena is said to have loosened the rope from around Arachne's neck which was turned into a cobweb, and Arachne was changed into a spider, doomed to spend the rest of her life weaving.
Athena wove into her web the stories of those who had aroused the anger of the gods, while Arachne chose stories of the errors of the gods.
Enraged at the excellence of the work, Athena tore Arachne's web into pieces. Arachne hanged herself in grief and was transformed by Athena into a spider.
This was adopted as the spider family in science which includes scorpions, mites, and ticks.
The term arachnoid refers to anything that resembles a spider's web.