Why did Athena disguise herself as Mentes in The Odyssey, Book 1?

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It's often not a good idea for a mortal to come face to face with a god (the sight can strike people blind in other Greek myths, and sometimes kill them completely) so Athena's primary reason for disguising herself is to protect Telemachus. 

Perhaps, though, we might view Athena's disguise metaphorically. If you were to say your dad gave you some good advice, and that advice came from God - it might be a bit like God coming to you in the shape of your dad. So it might be a reflection of Homer's pagan belief: that if Telemachus received good advice from Mentes, it was really the goddess acting through a mortal. 

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