Minerva



Minerva was the Roman goddess who Romans from the 2nd century BC onwards equated with the Greek goddess Athena. She was the virgin goddess of poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, weaving, crafts, magic. She is often depicted with her sacred creature, an owl usually named as the "owl of Minerva", which symbolizes her ties to wisdom.

Minerva was the Roman goddess of wisdom, medicine, the arts, dyeing, science and trade, but also of war. As Minerva Medica she is the patroness of physicians and medicine. She was considered to be the virgin goddess of warriors, poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, crafts, and the inventor of music. She is the daughter of Jupiter and Metis.

In the temple on the Capitoline Hill she was worshipped together with Jupiter and Juno, with whom she formed a powerful triad of gods. Another temple of her was located on the Aventine Hill. The church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva is built on one of her temples. Every year from March 19 - 23 the Quinquatria was held, the primary Minerva-festival. This festival was mainly celebrated by artisans but also by students. On June 13 the minor Quinquatrus was observed.

Minerva is believed to be the inventor of numbers and musical instruments. She is thought to be of Etruscan origin, as the goddess Menrva or Menerva. Later she was equated with the Greek Athena.

The name "Minerva" may come from the Indo-European root 'men', from which "mental" and "mind" are also derived. However, the non-Indo-European speaking Etruscans had a goddess Menrva, so the name may be of entirely unknown derivation.

Adapting Greek myths about Athena, Romans said that Minerva was not born in the usual way, but rather sprang fully armed from the brain of her father; this image has captivated Western writers and artists through the ages.

Ovid called her the "goddess of a thousand works." Minerva was worshipped throughout Italy, though only in Rome did she take on a warlike character. Minerva is usually depicted wearing a coat of mail and a helmet, and carrying a spear.

In the temple on the Capitoline Hill she was worshipped together with Jupiter and Juno, with whom she formed a powerful triad of gods.

Another temple of her was located on the Aventine Hill. The church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva is built on one of her temples.

Every year from March 19 - 23 the Quinquatria was held, the primary Minerva-festival. This festival was mainly celebrated by artisans but also by students.

On June 13 the minor Quinquatrus was observed.Minerva is believed to be the inventor of numbers and musical instruments.

She is thought to be of Etruscan origin, as the goddess Menrva or Menerva. Later she was equated with the Greek Athena.




Minerva in the Modern World


Minerva is the logo of the world famous German "Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science"

In the early 20th century, Manuel Jose Estrada Cabrera, President of Guatemala, tried to promote a "Cult of Minerva" in his country; this left little legacy other than a few interesting Hellenic style "Temples" in parks around Guatemala.

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 degree of Aleister Crowley's OTO rituals.

According to legend, the Queen of Spades playing card depicts Minerva.

Minerva McGonagall is the name of a character in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series.




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