Epithet: Zeus Aegidukhos
Other spelling variations: Aegiduchos, Aegiochos, Aigidouchos or Aigiochos
Meaning “bearer of the aegis” (aigis) with which Zeus strikes terror into the impious and his enemies. The Aegis is variously defined as a thunder shield or breast plate, but it also denoted stormy weather.
Others derive the surname from aix and ochê, and take it as an allusion to Zeus being fed as a child by the goat Amaltheia. When he reached maturity, Zeus created his aegis from her hide and the horn of plenty (keras amaltheias or cornucopia) from one of Amaltheia’s horns.
Others say that the aegis is made from the skin of the Gorgo Aix (Aex) slain by Zeus at the start of the Titan war. The shield was covered in her goatish-hide, rimmed with serpents and bore her terrifying visage upon it. I like this explanation better because it never sat right with me that Zeus skinned his nursemaid for his shield then but her in the stars to commemorate her actions. You just don’t skin someone who has fed you. It isn’t hospitable…
Sometime after he gained his father’s throne, Zeus gave his aegis to Athene. However, some say that Athene’s aegis is actual the skin of the winged giant, Pallas, whom she killed when he tried to rape her during the Titan war, and whose wings she fastened to her own feet. (Though I’ve never heard of her wearing wings.) Personally I like the idea of Athene having her own shield which she then decorated with Medusa’s head. It seems more like who I perceive Athene to be instead of receiving her “father’s” cast off weaponry.