Minerva was the Roman goddess of wisdom, arts and crafts, dyeing, medicine, science, trade, and war. She is also thought to have invented musical instruments and numbers. She is the patroness of physicians, and also known as Minerva Medica. She is depicted as a warrior; with helmet, shield, and spear. When writing about her, some refer to her as the “goddess of a thousand works”. Her Greek counterpart was Athena and her Etruscan counterpart was Menrva. She was born from the head of her father Jupitar. She was a major player in religion of the early Romans.

She is one of a group of twelve Gods and Godesses called “Dii Consentes”. This group consists of Jupiter, Juno, Minerva, Ceres, Diana, Vesta, Mars, Venus, Mercurius, Volcanus, Neptunis, and Apollo. She was part of the Cult of the Holy Triad of Jupitar and Juno (her mother). On the Roman Capitoline Hill in 508 B.C. cult leaders constructed a temple to worship this triad. On Aventine Hill a temple was constructed to honor her also. Ancient text on the occult feature stories of Minerva and Roman Mythology. Two festivals were held in her honor: Minervalia and Quinquatria (March 19-23).

The Quinquatria was a purification festival bordering on fanaticism, with religious cults featuring artisans and scholars joining to honor her. In modern times she is featured in many ways. She is on the Seal of California, the United States’ Medal of Honor, and depicted on a crest for Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Many universities and colleges feature her likeness in statues, seals, and logos. Public monuments display her statue, and public places are named after her. Manuel Jose Estrada Cabrera, an early 20th century president of Guatemala, promoted a “Cult of Minerva”. Hellenic style temples and parks still remain in Guatemala, even though the cult never gained popularity.

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