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Minerva Athena
Athena - Minerva

Minerva - Athena

Minerva was a Roman goddess on the brighter side of living, and a counterpart to Greek Athena. It is assumed that in Etruscan mythology, Minerva was the patron goddess of wisdom, war, art, schools and commerce - also of medicine and doctors - and Minerva's festival was celebrated from March 19 to March 23.

From the 2nd century BCE, Romans regarded her as equivalent with the Greek goddess Athena. In Britain, Minerva was conflated with the local wisdom goddess Sulis. Ancient Greeks identified Athena with the ancient Egyptian goddess Neith, who in some ways resembled the ancient Berber goddess Tanit.

Athena of the Greeks is a goddess of wisdom, of household arts and crafts, of spinning and weaving, and of textiles. Athena is also inventor of the flute, the plough and the ox-yoke, the horse bridle and the chariot. Identified as Athena Nike (Victory) she is usually depicted with wings as the goddess of victory. Athena is not known to have a bellicose nature, nor does she bear arms except when her country is threatened or attacked. Then she fights well and helps or saves her champions too.

Her companion is the intellectual and civilized side of living and the goddess of victory. Her sacred bird is the owl, which is why wisdom is associated with that bird in our culture. She has some other symbols associated with her too. ◊

A "Minerva guy" is someone who "resonates" in the fields or on the wavelengths of Minerva, whether they be arts, domestic arts, city planning, certain kinds of music, victorious literature, and ploughing through books in (higher) study -

There are very many outlets and combinations of them and of our civilization too, it seems safe to say.

A tour through lofty concepts and a goddess history

Neith
Neith, a painting of the goddess in the tomb of Nefertari

Neith - Athena

The Greek historian, Herodotus (c. 484-425 BC), noted that the Egyptian citizens of Sais in Egypt worshipped a goddess called Neith and that they identified her with Athena. The Timaeus, a Socratic dialogue written by Plato, mirrors that identification with Athena, possibly as a result of the identification of both goddesses with war and weaving. The name of Neith may mean "the one who belongs to the Red Crown" (of Lower-Egypt) or "the one who belongs to the (primeval) floods"

In Egyptian mythology, Neith (also known as Nit, Net, and Neit) was an early goddess in the Egyptian pantheon. She was the patron deity of Sais, where her cult was centered in the Western Nile Delta of Egypt and attested as early as the First Dynasty. In the history of Egyptian myths, she became a goddess of weaving who wove all of the world and existence into being on her loom. Neith was considered to be a goddess of wisdom. As a goddess of weaving and the domestic arts she was a protector of women and a guardian of marriage, so royal women often named themselves after Neith, in her honour.

Proclus (412485 AD) wrote that the adyton of the temple of Neith in Sais carried the following inscription: "I am the things that are, that will be, and that have been. No one has ever laid open the garment by which I am hidden. The fruit I brought forth was the sun."

Ancient Neith was said to repel evil in general and Egypt's foes in particular - it makes her a protectress as well as a goddess of war. She is also a goddess of hunting, weaving and wisdom. Her war and protectress symbols are the bow, the crossed arrows and shield on her head.

An early goddess in the Egyptian pantheon, in time she came to be considered the personification of the primordial waters of creation - a great mother goddess-creator. All that she conceived in her heart came into being, including thirty gods of Egypt (there are more still).

Neith also became goddess of weaving, and by then her role as a creator changed from being water-based to being a deity who wove all of the world and existence into being on her loom.

Neith is mother of the sun, Ra, in some creation myths. And from associating her with water, she is regarded as the source of the River Nile.

A great festival used to be held each year in her honour. According to the Greek historian Herodotus (c. 484425 BC). her devotees burned a multitude of lights in the open air all night at that time. The Timaeus, a Socratic dialogue written by Plato, mirrors the identification of Neith with Athena, for both goddesses were warring and weaving.

Virgin Mother Goddess

Sir Ernest Alfred Thompson Wallis Budge argued that the spread of Christianity in Egypt was influenced by the likeness of attributes between the Mother of Christ and goddesses such as Isis and Neith. Parthenogenesis (development of an embryo from an unfertilized egg) was associated with Neith long before the birth of Christ. Other properties belonging to Neith and Isis were transferred to Mary, the mother of Jesus, as a mark of honour, and Catholics stick to the devout "Virgin Mother and Child" theme and seem to like it.

Neith may correspond to the goddess Tanit, worshipped in north Africa by the early Berber culture. Tanit is a virginal mother goddess and nurse, and a symbol of fertility. Her symbol is quite like the Egyptian ankh.

[Wikipedia, s.v. "Minerva," Athena," and "Neith"]


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