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Athena   Minerva    

Yes, my children will avenge me. They must destroy the Romans. Horrible, dishonorable, copycat Romans. Juno argued that we must keep the two camps apart. I said, No, let them fight. Let my children destroy the usurpers.

–Minerva talking to Annabeth, in The Mark of Athena.

Minerva is the Roman virgin goddess of wisdom, poetry, medicine, commerce, weaving and crafts, equivalent to the Greek goddess Athena.

History

Minerva, in Roman religion, was the goddess of wisdom, commerce, poetry and crafts and unlike the Greek Athena (to whom Minerva was equivalent), she had little to no association with war and combat. The goddess embodied the application of intellect in everyday tasks and was accredited with inventing spinning, weaving, numbers, and music. She is also the patron goddess of medicine and is described by the poet Ovid as the "Goddess of a thousand works."

Some scholars believe that her cult was that of Athena introduced at Rome from Etruria. This is reinforced by the fact that she was apart of the Capitoline triad, hailed as a guardian of the state alongside the gods Jupiter and Juno. A shrine atop Rome's Aventine Hill dedicated to Minerva functioned as a meeting place for guilds of craftsmen, including at one time dramatic poets and actors.

Under the Emperor Domitian, who claimed her special protection, the worship of Minerva attained its greatest vogue in the Roman Empire.

The Heroes of Olympus

The Son of Neptune

Minerva is mentioned by Vitellius when talking about Gorgon Blood as she gave a vial from the right side to Vitellius' ancestor, Aesculapius.

The Mark of Athena

Terminus is appalled when Annabeth Chase states that she is the daughter of Athena, the Greek form of Minerva. He then states that Minerva has no Roman children.

Later, as Annabeth thinks about the Mark of Athena, she recalls meeting Minerva in Grand Central Station while on her way home from Sally Jackson's apartment while Percy was still missing. Annabeth finds the goddess trying to read a subway map to figure out how to return home, complaining that the way is complex and that if Odysseus were there, he'd understand. Annabeth mistakes Minerva for her mother Athena, the goddess' Greek form, but Minerva, showing no recognition of Annabeth, tells her that Athena was her name before the Romans sacked Athens, took her identity and changed her into Minerva. Annabeth is shocked to be facing Minerva who orders her not to call the goddess that as Minerva hates what she has been turned into. Annabeth reminds Minerva that she is her daughter and Minerva tells her that her children will avenge her and destroy the Romans, shocking Annabeth that Minerva wants that as Athena is wise and understands warfare better than anyone. Minerva angrily states that she was once like that before she was "replaced. Sacked. Looted like a trophy and carted off - away from my beloved homeland." Minerva had sworn never to forgive and that neither would her children.

After confirming that Annabeth is in fact her daughter, the goddess gives her an ordinary subway token and orders Annabeth to follow the Mark of Athena and avenge her. As Annabeth watches, the token transforms into the Mark of Athena. At the time, Annabeth is left confused as to what it means and why her mother is acting so strangely as she shouldn't be so confused even as Minerva. Annabeth attempts to enlist the goddess' help in finding the missing Percy and begins explaining Hera's plan to bring the two camps together to battle Gaea and the Gigantes. However, Minerva angrily states that Rome anyone who helps Rome must perish and that if Annabeth helps the Romans, than she is no daughter of Minerva's and has already failed her. Minerva declares that she cares nothing for Percy and that if he has gone over to the Romans to let him perish. Minerva orders Annabeth to kill all of the Romans, find the Mark, follow it to its source, witness how Rome has disgraced her and pledge her vengeance. Annabeth is horrified by what her mother has become as Minerva, arguing that Athena isn't the goddess of revenge, but Minerva states that like Percy is everything to Annabeth, revenge against the Romans is everything to Minerva. Minerva shows hatred for being made a Roman goddess and demands that Annabeth kill the Romans for it, but Annabeth refuses. Minerva declares that Annabeth is nothing then and returns to trying to figure out the subway map, again ordering Annabeth to avenge or leave her, stating again that Annabeth is no child of hers.

As a result of their argument, Minerva revokes the magical properties of Annabeth's Yankees Cap, leaving it unable to turn Annabeth invisible anymore.

After meeting Aphrodite in Charleston and learning that she is not as affected by the divide between the gods' halves, Annabeth is annoyed as her mother, the most level-headed of the Olympians is reduced to a raging, vicious scatterbrain in a subway station. Aphrodite tells Hazel and Piper about Annabeth's falling out with her mother, explaining that the Romans had other war gods such as Mars, Mithras and Bellona and as a result, they sidelined Minerva and took away most of her military importance, something that neither the Greeks nor Athena had ever forgiven the Romans for.

While Annabeth is at Fort Sumter, she hears Minerva's voice order Annabeth to avenge her and follow the Mark as the Mark of Athena burns across the walls, incinerating all of the spiders in the room. Minerva's voice continues to echo through Annabeth's head as she faces off with Reyna Ramírez-Arellano, urging her towards vengeance, but Annabeth chooses to ignore the goddess in favor of finding a peaceful solution.

The House of Hades

After running into a statue of Neptune, Jason Grace comments that he'd rather run across Jupiter or Minerva, or really any other god but the sea god.

Later, in the House of Hades, Jason questions the symbol of an owl being present as it is the symbol of Minerva. Nico explains that the screech owl is a symbol of Hades and a bad omen.

Demigods & Magicians

The Staff of Serapis

To Annabeth's surprise, while she is fighting with Serapis alongside Sadie Kane, Athena restores her magical cap which has been powerless since Annabeth's argument with Minerva.

Personality

Unlike her Greek counterpart, Minerva is not a war goddess to the Romans, acting as more of a defense/strategic adviser and artist (the Romans largely looked down upon defensive maneuvers, always falling back on them as a last resort even if Minerva was correct in suggesting a retreat. This is because the Romans always attacked others to defend themselves). Because of this, Minerva hates the Romans and wants revenge on them for stealing her statue when the Romans attacked the Greek city-states. Her goal of revenge goes so far that she does not seem to think clearly and exhibits vengeful and violent tendencies, sometimes without thinking. This is in deep contrast to Athena, as Percy once commented that Athena was one of the worst enemies he could make, as she would think everything through and never make a mistake in her quest for revenge.

Minerva also thinks somewhat low of herself, saying that she is more than what she is as Minerva, even hating the name. Also, because of her conflicting natures, Minerva is slightly distracted, as she did not know who Annabeth was and had difficulty reading a subway map.

Minerva may also be somewhat petty as her argument with Annabeth led to her removing the magical properties of Annabeth's Yankees Cap as a punishment.

Appearance

Minerva appears as a young woman in jeans, hiking boots, and a red flannel shirt. She has long dark hair that cascades over her shoulders. She dresses like she is prepared for a long journey, as she also wears a backpack and carries a walking stick (in place of her shield and spear).

Abilities

She presumably possesses the standard powers of a goddess.

  • Divine Wisdom: As the Goddess of Wisdom, Minerva is extremely wise, intelligent, and knowledgeable.
  • Craftsmanship: As the Goddess of Crafts, Minerva is an incredibly skillful craftswoman, though she is best known for her talent in weaving (the very art of which she herself invented).
  • Mystiokinesis: As the Goddess of Magic, Minerva has absolute control and divine authority over magic, though not as much as Hecate.

Representation

She is described by the poets, and represented by the sculptors and painters in a standing attitude, completely armed, with a composed but smiling countenance, bearing a golden breast-plate, a spear in her right hand, and the Aegis in her left, having on it the head of Medusa, entwined with snakes. Her helmet was usually encompassed with olives, to denote that peace is the end of war, or rather because that tree was sacred to her. At her feet is generally placed the owl or viper, the former being the emblem of wisdom and the latter of war.

Trivia

References

The Heroes of Olympus
Core Series: The Lost Hero | The Son of Neptune | The Mark of Athena | The House of Hades | The Blood of Olympus
Main Characters: Jason Grace | Piper McLean | Leo Valdez | Percy Jackson | Frank Zhang | Hazel Levesque | Annabeth Chase | Reyna Ramírez-Arellano | Nico di Angelo | Gleeson Hedge
Secondary Characters: Hylla Ramírez-Arellano | Dakota | Tyson | Ella | Octavian | Halcyon Green | Dr. Howard Claymore | Alabaster C. Torrington | Lamia | Iapetus/Bob
Minor Characters: Rachel Elizabeth Dare | Grover Underwood | Thalia Grace | Fleecy | Mrs. O'Leary | Kinzie | Arion | Calypso | Lou Ellen Blackstone | Chiron | Will Solace | Tristan McLean | Don | Julia | Jacob | Michael Varus | Burly Black | Medea | Midas | Lityerses | Phineas | Otrera | Echo | Narcissus | Sciron | Pasiphaë
Olympian Gods: Zeus | Hera | Poseidon | Hades | Ares | Demeter | Athena | Apollo | Artemis | Hephaestus | Aphrodite | Hermes | Dionysus
Minor Gods: Achelous | Aeolus | Asclepius | Boreas | Eurus | Hecate | Iris | Hypnos | Keto | Khione | Kymopoleia | Mithras | Nemesis | Nike | Notus | Phorcys | Serapis | Thanatos | Triptolemus | Zephyros
Roman Gods: Jupiter | Juno | Neptune | Pluto | Mars | Minerva | Ceres | Lupa | Bellona | Fortuna | Janus | Terminus | Vulcan | Mercury | Apollo (Roman) | Diana | Venus | Bacchus | Pomona | Aquilon | Hercules | Cupid | Auster | Favonius | Letus | Victoria
Giants: Enceladus | Porphyrion | Alcyoneus | Polybotes | Ephialtes | Otis | Damasen | Clytius | Mimas | Orion | Hippolytos| Thoon | Periboia
Undead: Gray
Primordial Gods: Gaea | Tartarus | Ourae | Nyx | Chaos | Ouranos | Akhlys | Hemera | Elpis | Spes
Monsters and Magical Creatures: Cynocephali | Gorgon | Gryphon | Harpy | Basilisk | Lycanthrope | Gegeines | Cyclops | Katobleps | Unicorn | Giant Eagle | Ichthyocentaur | Satyr/Faun | Storm Spirit | Laistrygonian Giant | Lares
Related Content: Rick Riordan | Haley Riordan | Percy Jackson and the Olympians | Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Ultimate Guide | The Demigod Files | The Demigod Diaries | The Son of Sobek | The Singer of Apollo | The Staff of Serapis | Percy Jackson's Greek Gods | Percy Jackson's Greek Heroes | The Crown of Ptolemy | Demigods & Magicians | Demigods of Olympus | Percy Jackson Demigod Collection
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