JF Ptak Science Books Post 1561
Athena--the Greek goddess of wisdom, and of civilization and of course warfare, and of strength and strategy, and of justice and craft and clever thought--was the first daughter of Zeus, whose mother was Metis, a Titan and equal of her father. The story of her birth has been told in many different ways, but the basic element of it was that Zeus had laid with Metis, yada yada yada, and then feared that their offspring might be his equal, or greater, and so to quench his appetite for his consort, Zeus ate Metis (on the advice of Uranus and Ge), swallowing her, whole. But as these things go, Zeus hadn't planned that Metis was already pregnant, and that being the case, gave birth to Athena inside of Zeus. Zeus knew nothing of this--being busy--except that after a while he developed a headache so intense that other gods came to his rescue and forced open his head to release the pain--and from his forehead came his daughter, Athena, already clad for war and armed with gifts from her mother.
John Milton evidently employed this (or similar) image of springing-from-the-forehead for his own incantation of sin coming from the forehead of Satan, in his Paradise Lost. Satan (renamed from Lucifer) has been sent to Hell after his attempted terrorism in Heaven, and while there his daughter, Sin, springs from his head. He of course falls in rapturous lust with her and they produce a baby, Death, which eventually devours Sin. Oh Happy Days!
There seems to be some fair amount of spring-from-the-forehead-of business in the history of story telling: Saraswati (another goddess of wisdom) springs from Brahma's forehead, Thoth comes from Seth's forehead in Egyptian mythology, and a parallel Athena/Zeus story appears in Roman mythology with Palla and Jupiter.
This seems a long way to get to this headdress of Luchinus (or Luchino I Visconti, who shared in the rule of Milan from 1339 to 1349, found in Paolo Giovino's Abbrege de l'Histoire des Vicomtes et Ducz de Milan, publihed in Paris in 1553), which was either real or not, but the image of the consumed man springing from the crowned head of the ruler was too much to pass up. I am assuming that the man is going into the snake/dragon, rather than the other way around.
On Athena and Zeus--
Hesiod, Theogony 886 ff :
"Zeus, as king of the gods, took as his first wife Metis, and she knew more than all the gods or mortal people. But when she was about to be delivered of the goddess, gray-eyed Athene, then Zeus, deceiving her perception by treachery and by slippery speeches, put her away inside his own belly. This was by the advices of Gaia (Earth)
and starry Ouranos (Sky), for so they counseled, in order that no other everlasting god, beside Zeus, should ever be given kingly position. For it had been arranged that, from her, children surpassing in wisdom should be born, first the gray-eyed girl, the Tritogeneia Athene . . . but then a son to be king over gods and mortals was to be born to her and his heart would be overmastering; but before this, Zeus put her away inside his own belly so that this goddess should think for him, for good and for evil."
Hesiod, Theogony 924 ff :
"[Zeus], apart from Hera, had lain in love with a fair-faced daughter of Okeanos and lovley-haired Tethys, Metis, whom he deceived, for all she was so resourceful, for he snatched her up in his hands and put her inside his belly for fear that she might bring forth a thunderbolt stronger than his own; therefore the son of Kronos . . . swallowed her down of a sudden, but she then conceived Pallas Athene, but the father of gods and men gave birth to her near the summit of Triton beside the banks of the river. But Metis herself, hidden away under the vitals of Zeus, stayed there; she was Athene's mother; worker of right actions, beyond all the gods and beyond all mortal people in knowledge; and there Athene had given to her hands what made her supreme over all other immortals who have their homes on Olympos; for Metis made that armor of Athene, terror of armies, in which Athene was born."
Pseudo-Apollodorus, Bibliotheca 1. 20 :
"Zeus slept with Metis, although she turned herself into many forms in order to avoid having sex with him. When she was pregnant, Zeus took the precaution of swallowing her, because she had said that, after giving birth to the daughter presently in her womb, she would bear a son who would gain the lordship of the sky. In fear of this he swallowed her. When it came time for the birth, Prometheus (or Hephaistos, according to some) by the river Triton struck the head of Zeus with an axe, and from his crown Athena sprang up, clad in her armour."