Domitian Denarius. IMP XXI COS XV CENS P P P, Minerva standing left with thunderbolt & spear, sheild on ground.

Ancient Coins - Domitian Denarius.  IMP XXI COS XV CENS P P P, Minerva standing left with thunderbolt & spear, sheild on ground.
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Domitian Denarius. IMP CAES DOMIT AVG GERM P M TR P VIIII, laureate head right / IMP XXI COS XV CENS P P P, Minerva standing left with thunderbolt & spear, sheild on ground. RSC 260. RIC 0149. No.1747.
This article is about the Roman goddess. For other uses, see Minerva (disambiguation).
Detail from Minerva of Peace, Elihu Vedder, 1896

Minerva was the Roman name of Greek goddess Athena. She was considered to be the virgin goddess of warriors, poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, weaving, crafts, and the inventor of music.[1] She is often depicted with an owl, her sacred creature and a symbol of wisdom.

This article focuses on Minerva in early Rome and in cultic practice. For information on literary mythological accounts of Minerva, which were heavily influenced by Greek mythology, see Pallas Athena where she is one of three virgin goddesses along with Artemis and Hestia.

 Etruscan Menrva

The name "Minerva" is likely imported from the Etruscans who called her Menrva. In Etruscan mythology, Menrva was the goddess of wisdom, war, art, schools and commerce. She was the Etruscan counterpart to Greek Athena. Like Athena, Minerva was born from the head of her father, Tinia.

Her name has the "mn-" stem, linked with memory. See Greek "Mnemosyne" (gr. μνημοσύνη) and "mnestis" (gr. μνῆστις): memory, remembrance, recollection. The Romans could have confused her foreign name with their word mens meaning "mind" since one of her aspects as goddess pertained not only to war but also to the intellectual.

Cult of Minerva in Rome

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

As Minerva Medica, she was the goddess of medicine and doctors. As Minerva Achaea, she was worshipped at Luceria in Apulia where votive gifts and arms said to be those of Diomedes were preserved in her temple.[2][3]

A head of "Sulis-Minerva" found in the ruins of the Roman baths in Bath

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. Her worship was also taken out to the empire � in Britain, for example, she was conflated with the wisdom goddess Sulis.

The Romans celebrated her festival from March 19 to March 23 during the day which is called, in the feminine plural, Quinquatria, the fifth after the Ides of March, the nineteenth, the 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.

Minerva was worshipped on the Capitoline Hill as one of the Capitoline Triad along with Jupiter and Juno, at the Temple of Minerva Medica, and at the "Delubrum Minervae" a temple founded around 50 BC by Pompey on the site of the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva (near the present-day Piazza della Minerva and the Pantheon).
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