This article is about the coin. You may be looking for the book.
The Mark of Athena is a spiritual trail of clues leading the demigod children of the goddess Athena to her sacred statue, Athena Parthenos, which had been stolen by the Romans and guarded by Arachne. The first part of the Mark of Athena is a silver drachma given by the goddess to her children.
Every few generations, if Athena considers one of her children worthy, she gives them the coin that starts the child following the Mark of Athena to the statue. Minerva, Athena's Roman side, is also capable of giving Athena's children the coin. However, no child of Athena has ever been able to find and recover the statue, falling to Arachne and the other dangers guarding it.
At some point, one of Athena's children created a map helping to find the start of the trail in Rome. However, the demigod was a soldier in the Union and died when Fort Sumter was destroyed. The demigod hid the map in one of the fort's mortars with it subsequently becoming a part of the trail.
Ella the harpy recites part of a prophecy from the Sibylline Books stating that "wisdom's daughter walks alone, the Mark of Athena burns through Rome." Later, Juno tells Percy Jackson that Annabeth Chase has a difficult job ahead of her and that it would cause trouble for the Seven's quest.
The day after the Battle of New Rome, Percy, Hazel Levesque and Frank Zhang discuss Ella and her prophecies. Hazel asks if Percy has any idea what the prophecy means about wisdom's daughter and the Mark of Athena burning through Rome. Percy remembers Juno's warning and although he doesn't believe her about the trouble that it will cause, Percy is worried. Percy isn't sure and suggests that there might be more to the prophecy and he hopes that Ella can remember it.
While at Grand Central Station, Annabeth Chase encounters Minerva, the Roman form of her mother Athena. Minerva transforms an ordinary subway token into the coin and orders Annabeth to follow the Mark of Athena, find the Athena Parthenos and avenge her or Annabeth is no daughter of hers.
Shortly after the Argo II arrives in New Rome, Ella recites the rest of the prophecy regarding the Mark of Athena from the Sibylline Books. In order to protect her from Octavian, who witnessed Ella give the prophecy in front of the entire Senate, Percy sends her away with Tyson and Mrs. O'Leary.
After Percy and Frank learn of a map connected to the Mark of Athena in Charleston, the Argo II travels there in search of the map while both Annabeth and Jason begin to realize the true object of the quest. In Charleston, Annabeth, Piper and Hazel encounter Aphrodite who explains a little more about the Mark of Athena, warning that no one has ever managed to follow it to its end. As the Romans attack, Aphrodite directs Annabeth to Fort Sumter for the map, warning Annabeth about the statue's guardian. Searching the fort, Annabeth becomes trapped in a room full of spiders, only to have the Mark of Athena light up on the walls and burn the spiders away. On one of the fort's mortars, Annabeth finds the Mark and the map inside.
During the Argo II's journey to Rome, Annabeth intently studies the map which is only visible when she is alone, revealing this to be a solo quest. Annabeth searches for anything that she can find to help her, going through Daedalus' Laptop for any information it contains on the Mark of Athena.
In Rome, Annabeth meets with Tiberinus and Rhea Silva who lead her to the start of the path underneath a building. As Annabeth treks through the underground of Rome, the Mark of Athena appears to her several times to guide her way, particularly when the direction she has to take in the tunnels is unclear. Finally, the Mark of Athena guides Annabeth to Arachne's lair in an old shrine where the Athena Parthenos is tied up in the monster's webbing. After Annabeth tricks and traps the spider, she finally succeeds in recovering the statue which is brought aboard the Argo II.
A glowing image of Athena's sacred animal, an owl, appears and "guides" the possessor to the Athena Parthenos appears even in places like Rome. According to Aphrodite, the mark is a connection between the statue and the children of Athena. When the demigod reaches another part of the trail, the Mark of Athena glows to indicate the direction.
If the user tries to throw away the coin, it simply reappears in their pocket.
When Annabeth Chase faced a room full of spiders while following the Mark of Athena, the Mark glowed on the walls and incinerated the spiders.
- Aphrodite doesn't believe that the coin was created by Athena consciously.
- Similar to Percy Jackson's Riptide, the coin reappears in Annabeth Chase's pocket.