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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Minerva
Goddess of poetry, medicine, wisdom, strategic warfare, commerce, weaving, and the crafts
Member of the Capitoline Triad
Minerva-Vedder-Highsmith-detail-1.jpeg
Mosaic of the Minerva of Peace in the Library of Congress
SymbolsOwl of Minerva, olive tree, serpent of Jupiter, the Parthenon, the spear, the spindle, spiders and Hellebore
GenderFemale
ParentsJupiter and Metis
Greek equivalentAthena
Etruscan equivalentMenrva

Minerva (/mɪˈnɜːrvə/ min-UR-və, Latin: [mɪˈnɛrwa]; Etruscan: Menrva) is the Roman goddess of wisdom and strategic warfare and the sponsor of arts, trade, and strategy. From the second century BC onward, the Romans equated her with the Greek goddess Athena,[1] though the Romans did not stress her relation to battle and warfare as the Greeks did.

Following the Greek myths around Athena, she was born of Metis, who had been swallowed by Jupiter, and burst from her father's head, fully armed and clad in armor.[2] Jupiter forcibly impregnated the titaness Metis, which resulted in her attempting to change shape (or shapeshift) to escape him. Jupiter then recalled the prophecy that his own child would overthrow him as he had Saturn, and in turn, Saturn had Caelus.

Fearing that their child would be male, and would grow stronger than he was and rule the Heavens in his place, Jupiter swallowed Metis whole after tricking her into turning herself into a fly. The titaness gave birth to Minerva and forged weapons and armor for her child while within Jupiter's body. In some versions of the story, Metis continued to live inside of Jupiter's mind as the source of his wisdom. Others say she was simply a vessel for the birth of Minerva. The constant pounding and ringing left Jupiter with agonizing pain. To relieve the pain, Vulcan used a hammer to split Jupiter's head and, from the cleft, Minerva emerged, whole, adult, and in full battle armor.

She was the virgin goddess of music, poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, weaving, and the crafts.[3] She is often depicted with her sacred creature, an owl usually named as the "owl of Minerva",[4] which symbolised her association with wisdom and knowledge as well as, less frequently, the snake and the olive tree.

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Transcription

Contents

Worship in Rome and Italy

Raised-relief image of Minerva on a Roman gilt silver bowl, first century BC
Raised-relief image of Minerva on a Roman gilt silver bowl, first century BC
Temple of Minerva in Sbeitla, Tunisia
Temple of Minerva in Sbeitla, Tunisia
A head of "Sulis-Minerva" found in the ruins of the Roman baths in Bath
A head of "Sulis-Minerva" found in the ruins of the Roman baths in Bath
Silver denarius of the Roman Emperor Domitian dated c. 90 AD
Silver denarius of the Roman Emperor Domitianus (Domitian) featuring Minerva, dated c. 90 AD, IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VIIII, laureate head right; IMP XXI COS XV CENS P P P, Minerva standing left, holding spear and thunderbolt, shield resting against back of leg; References: BMC 167, RIC 691, RSC 260, Paris 159, Cohen 260

Minerva was worshipped at several locations in Rome, most prominently as part of the Capitoline Triad. She was also worshipped at the Temple of Minerva Medica, and at the "Delubrum Minervae", a temple founded around 50 BC by Pompey on the site now occupied by the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva.

The Romans celebrated her festival from March 19 to March 23 during the day which is called, in the neuter plural, Quinquatria, the fifth after the Ides of March, the nineteenth, an artisans' holiday. A lesser version, the Minusculae Quinquatria, was held on the Ides of June, June 13, by the flute-players, who were particularly useful to religion. In 207 BC, a guild of poets and actors was formed to meet and make votive offerings at the temple of Minerva on the Aventine Hill. Among others, its members included Livius Andronicus. The Aventine sanctuary of Minerva continued to be an important center of the arts for much of the middle Roman Republic.

As Minerva Medica, she was the goddess of medicine and physicians. As Minerva Achaea, she was worshipped at Lucera in Apulia where votive gifts and arms said to be those of Diomedes were preserved in her temple.[5][6]

Her worship also was spread throughout the empire. In Britain, for example, she was syncretized with the local goddess Sulis, who often was invoked for restitution for theft.[7]

In Fasti III, Ovid called her the "goddess of a thousand works". Minerva was worshipped throughout Italy, and when she eventually became equated with the Greek goddess Athena, she also became a goddess of battle. Unlike Mars, god of war, she was sometimes portrayed with sword lowered, in sympathy for the recent dead, rather than raised in triumph and battle lust. In Rome her bellicose nature was emphasized less than elsewhere.[8]

Roman coinage

Minerva is featured on the coinage of different Roman emperors. She often is represented on the reverse side of a coin holding an owl and a spear among her attributes.[9]

Etruscan Menrva

Stemming from an Italic moon goddess *Meneswā ('She who measures'), the Etruscans adopted the inherited Old Latin name, *Menerwā, thereby calling her Menrva. It is presumed that her Roman name, Minerva, is based on this Etruscan mythology. Minerva was the goddess of wisdom, war, art, schools, and commerce. She was the Etruscan counterpart to Greek Athena. Like Athena, Minerva burst from the head of her father, Jupiter (Greek Zeus), who had devoured her mother (Metis) in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent her birth.

By a process of folk etymology, the Romans could have linked her foreign name to the root men- in Latin words such as mens meaning "mind", perhaps because one of her aspects as goddess pertained to the intellectual. The word mens is built from the Proto-Indo-European root *men- 'mind' (linked with memory as in Greek Mnemosyne/μνημοσύνη and mnestis/μνῆστις: memory, remembrance, recollection, manush in Sanskrit meaning mind).

The Etruscan Menrva was part of a holy triad with Tinia and Uni, equivalent to the Roman Capitoline Triad of Jupiter-Juno-Minerva.

Modern depictions and references of Minerva

Universities and educational establishments

As a patron goddess of wisdom, Minerva frequently features in statuary, as an image on seals, and in other forms at educational institutions.

Societies and governments

Minerva and owl (right) depicted on Confederate currency (1861)
Minerva and owl (right) depicted on Confederate currency (1861)
  • The Seal of California depicts the Goddess Minerva. Her birth fully-grown parallels California becoming a state without first being a territory.[10]
  • According to John Robison's Proofs of a Conspiracy (1798), the third degree of the Bavarian Illuminati was called Minerval or Brother of Minerva, in honor of the goddess of learning. Later, this title was adopted for the first initiation of Aleister Crowley's OTO rituals.
  • Minerva Schools at KGI is a global four-year undergraduate program.
  • Minerva Hospital for Women and Children is a first-class hospital in Chengdu, China.

Public monuments, and places

References and sources

References
  1. ^ Larousse Desk Reference Encyclopedia, Book People, Haydock, 1995, p. 215.
  2. ^ Encarta World English Dictionary 1998–2004 Microsoft Corporation.
  3. ^ Candau, Francisco J. Cevallos (1994). Coded Encounters: Writing, Gender, and Ethnicity in Colonial Latin America. University of Massachusetts Press. p. 215. ISBN 0-87023-886-8.
  4. ^ Philosophy of Right (1820), "Preface"
  5. ^ Aristotle Mirab. Narrat. 117
  6. ^ Schmitz, Leonhard (1867). "Achaea (2)". In Smith, William (ed.). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. 1. Boston. p. 8.
  7. ^ R. S. O. Tomlin (1992). "Voices from the Sacred Spring" (PDF). Bath History. 4: 8, 10. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2015-09-23.
  8. ^ Mark Cartwright. "Minerva". Ancient History Encyclopedia.
  9. ^ "American Numismatic Society: Browse Collection". Retrieved 2017-03-02.
  10. ^ "California State Symbols". California State Library.
  11. ^ Cavanagh, Terry (1997). Public sculpture of Liverpool. Liverpool University Press. pp. 70–1.
  12. ^ Elson, Peter (2014-10-14). "Liverpool Town Hall's Minerva statue restored to heavenly condition". Liverpool Echo.
  13. ^ "Our Lady of Victories (The Portland Sailors and Soldiers Monument)". Public Art Portland. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  14. ^ "Maine Civil War Monuments: Portland (Monument Square)". Maine.gov. Archived from the original on 2015-05-24. Retrieved 28 January 2017.
  15. ^ "Minerva". Hennepin County Library.
  16. ^ "University at Albany – SUNY -". albany.edu. Archived from the original on 2015-09-18. Retrieved 2015-04-10.
  17. ^ "Herald Square Monuments – James Gordon Bennett Memorial : NYC Parks".
  18. ^ "minerva | Search Results  | Wellsipedia". wellsipedia.wordpress.com. Retrieved 2017-03-09.
  19. ^ Citizen, Erik Sorensen / Special to The. "Wells College to graduate its first males this weekend". Auburn Citizen. Retrieved 2017-03-09.
  20. ^ York, Michelle (2005-09-06). "Wells College: Newly, and Uneasily, Coed". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2017-03-09.
  21. ^ "Ballaarat Mechanics' Institute - All are welcome to visit for tours, cultural events and exhibitions". Ballarat Mechanics Institute. Retrieved 2019-03-09.
Sources

External links

This page was last edited on 20 October 2019, at 12:18
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