Hello, my name is Sarah
I was wondering if you could help me find resources on the Goddess Minerva. I can't seem to find anything that talks about Minerva as a goddess in her own right. Most seem to talk about Athena instead. I am interested in finding out at what point Minerva and Athena were thought of as the same goddess as I am trying to learn about Minerva as a distinct and separate goddess. Could you help me?
in Roman mythology Minerva (aka Menerva, from the Etruscan name Menrva, who was just an Etruscan goddess) was originally a "goddess of a thousand works” (Latin, “mille dea est operum” ) as well a “goddess of poetry”( Latin, “dea carminis”), as she is called by the poet Ovid in his “Fasti”(i.e.” The festivals calendar”), Book 3, line 833.
So, the Roman Minerva was originally the goddess of knowledge, arts, industry and handicraft such as spinning and weaving, as well as of medicine and poetry, closely associated with the Etruscan goddess Menrva, so that she seems to have been introduced in Rome by the Etruscans perhaps during the reign of Numa Pompilius in the 7th century BC or later during the reign of Tarquinius Priscus (Tarquin the Elder) in the 6th.century BC.
The Romans celebrated her worship on the 19th of March during the festival called "Quinquatria"or “Quinquatrus”, when , as this festival was sacred to Minerva, it seems that women were accustomed to consult fortune-tellers and diviners upon this day (see Plautus, Miles Gloriosus, Act III.Scene 1.line 98).
As “Minerva Medica”, she was the patroness of physicians and was considered third among the Gods and Goddesses and was part of the Capitolian powerful triad alongside Juno and Jupiter, since she was worshipped together with them in the temple on the Capitoline Hill in Rome.
Finally, Minerva was also sometimes accredited in Roman mythology for inventing numbers and medicine.
To sum up, the Roman goddess Minerva is thought to be of Etruscan origin, as the goddess Menrva or Menerva.
Later however, maybe from the 2nd.century BC onwards, she was equated with the Greek Pallas Athena and was thought as the same goddess with the same peculiarities, i.e. as a goddess of wisdom and war, and thus was depicted in full battle dress with a coat of mail, a helmet and a spear.
With regard to the Roman Minerva as a goddess in her own right, i.e. as a distinct and separate goddess, I’m sorry, but we have very few Latin sources that talk about her, apart from some mentions in Plautus (Roman playwright died in 184 BC) and Ovid (Roman poet died in 17 AD).
As for modern sources about Minerva, I know none that is reliable.
Hope this can be somehow helpful to you.