Minerva (mythology)

   In Roman mythology, Minerva was the god­dess of wisdom. The first syllable of the name is the same root as that which ap­pears in the English word, mind. She was the daughter of Jupiter, the counterpart of the Greek Athene, the daughter of Zeus. Though wisdom is of slow growth, Minerva sprang from his brain full grown and clad in armor. In case of attack she was a war­like goddess, but she had no desire for foreign conquest,—no sympathy with Mars, the god of war, violence, and bloodshed. She presided over agriculture and commerce and household arts—spinning, weaving, and embroidery. She gave mortals the olive and taught them how to cultivate it.
   In art, Minerva, like Athene, is represented in full drapery with helmet, shield and spear. She ranked with Jupiter and Juno, and, with them, the center of her worship was the great temple on the Capitoline Hill. The wise-looking owl is called the bird of Minerva.