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Arachne
Despite the generally adverse feelings of many people towards spiders, they have in many parts of the world become a part of folk myth and legend, perhaps more so than any other anthropod.

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.

Spiders of the World by Rod & Ken Preston-Mafham;
Facts On File Publication; New York; 1984; page 14.
This entry is located in the following unit: arachno-, arachn- + (page 1)
Word Entries at Get Words: “arachne
Arachne, arachnida, arachnoidea
In Greek mythology, the most skillful weaver of Lydia who challenged the goddess Athena to a weaving contest.

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.

This entry is located in the following unit: Words from the Greek Myths (page 1)