Athena’s Deeds Athena and Poseidon (the god of the sea) once competed for the naming of Athens. Poseidon struck a stone with his trident, and a saltwater spring gushed forth. Athena touched a stone, and an olive tree sprung up. The people of Athens liked Athena's gift better, so they named their city for her.Poseidon (the god of the sea) Athena helped Odysseus with the Trojan War. She was worshiped as the city’s patron goddess.