The New Student's Reference Work/Minerva


Miner′va, in Roman mythology the goddess of wisdom. She seems to be the same as the Greek Pallas Athené. She was said to have sprung in full armor from the head of Jupiter. She was the patron god of Athens, and her statue by Pheidias adorned the Parthenon. In her hand she carried the spindle, needle and spool, and was skilled in all kinds of woman's work. She was patron of art and trades; painters, teachers and physicians invoked her aid. Minerva, like Athené, is represented in art with a grave and majestic countenance, armed with helmet, shield and spear. The olive-branch, serpent and owl were sacred to her. Her festival, held in March, lasted from the 19th to the 23d.