Minerva was a Roman goddess of crafts and wisdom. This article focuses on Minerva in early Rome and in cultic practice. For information on literary mythological accounts of Minerva, which were heavily influenced by Greek mythology, see Athena.Titles and roles
The name "Minerva" is likely imported from the Etruscans who called her Menrva. The Romans would have easily confused her foreign name with their word mens meaning "mind" since one of her aspects as goddess pertained not only to war but also to the intellectual.
Minerva was the daughter of Jupiter and Metis. She was considered to be the virgin goddess of warriors, poetry, medicine, wisdom, commerce, crafts, and the inventor of music. As Minerva Medica, she was the goddess of medicine and doctors.
Adapting Greek myths about Athena, Romans said that Minerva was not born in the usual way, but rather Jupiter had a horrible headache and Vulcan opened up his head and out came Minerva dressed in armor and holding a shield; this image has captivated Western writers and artists through the ages. Worship
Ovid called her the "goddess of a thousand works." Minerva was worshipped throughout Italy, though only in Rome did she take on a warlike character. Minerva is usually depicted wearing a coat of mail and a helmet, and carrying a spear.
The Romans celebrated her festival from March 19 to 23 during the day which is called, in the feminine plural, Quinquatria, the fifth after the Ides of March, the nineteenth, the artisans' holiday. A lesser version, the Minusculae Quinquatria, was held on the Ides of June, June 13, by the flute-players, who were particularly useful to religion. Minerva was worshipped on the Capitoline Hill as one of the Capitoline Triad along with Jupiter and Juno. In Rome, you can visit Piazza della Minerva near the Pantheon.
In 207 BC, a guild of poets and actors was formed to meet and make votive offerings at the temple of Minerva on the Aventine hill. Among others, its members included Livius Andronicus. The Aventine sanctuary of Minerva continued to be an important center of the arts for much of the middle Roman Republic.
In Plutarch's Lives: Pericles; Minerva appears to Pericles in a dream and orders a course of treatment for an injured citizen of Athens. The treatment cured the man and a brass statue was erected in honor of Minerva Minerva was born from the head of Jupiter.Minerva in the modern world
Minerva is displayed in front of Columbia University's Low Library as "Alma Mater."
Minerva is found as a hood ornament on the cars of Minerva automobile
Minerva is the logo of the world famous German "Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science" (Max-Planck-Gesellschaft)
Minerva is a section heading in the British Medical Journal.
Minerva Medica is the name of a Italian publisher of medical journals and books .
Minerva is featured on the seal of California because the state entered the union "fully formed", that is, without having gone through the probation of a Territory.
Minerva is featured on the seals and logos of many institutions of higher learning:
University at Albany, The State University of New York. Minerva is still venerated by seniors and their 'torch bearers' during a pre-graduation ritual called "Torch Night" there.
the University of Alabama
Union College, New York. Union College has also used Minerva as the name of their new academic and social "Third Space" program, the Minerva House System.
the logo of UFRJ, the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, in Brazil.
Ghent University, in Belgium
In the early 20th century, Manuel José Estrada Cabrera, President of Guatemala, tried to promote a "Cult of Minerva" in his country; this left little legacy other than a few interesting Hellenic style "Temples" in parks around Guatemala.
According to John Robison's Proofs of a Conspiracy (1798), the third degree of the Bavarian Illuminati was called Minerval or Brother of Minerva, in honor of the goddess of learning. Later, this title was adopted for the first degree of Aleister Crowley's OTO rituals.
According to legend, the Queen of Spades playing card depicts Minerva.
Minerva is also the name of songs by the band Deftones and the artist Ani DiFranco.
Various fictional characters are named after Minerva:
Minerva McGonagall in J. K. Rowling's Harry Potter series.
Minerva Mink in the Steven Spielberg cartoon: Animaniacs, once considered too sexy for the show.
A battleship in the Japanese 2004 animation Gundam Seed Destiny.
A sentient computer which later transfers its consciousness into a human body in the Robert A. Heinlein novel, Time Enough for Love.
The ship captained by Otto van Hoek in Neal Stephenson's book series, The Baroque Cycle.
A female girl-genius character in the Artemis Fowl book The Lost Colony.
There is an international relations blog named The Duck of Minerva
Robert Zubrin's novel The Holy Land features aliens who worship Minerva.
In Square Enix's Final Fantasy games, Minerva's Plate frequently appears as powerful body armor for female characters.
Minerva is also the name of the oldest student-association in the Netherlands (Leiden University).
There is a popular single-player Half-Life 2 modification called MINERVA.
Minerva Reef is located in the South Pacific, southwest of the islands of Tonga, of which it is a part. It is above sea level only at low tide. In the 1970s, there was an attempt by several adventurers to declare the independence of Minerva from Tonga by planting a flag on the reef. The king of Tonga quickly dispatched a naval vessel to remove the flag and reassert Tongan authority. 
"The Minerva Medal" is the highest accolade awarded for a lifetime achievement in the field of design by the Chartered Society of Designers, the world's largest and only Chartered body of professional designers. Presented at the "Minerva Dinner", past recipients include HRH The Duke of Edinburgh. The Society's logo is based on an icon of Minerva.
Minerva is also the symbol representing the University of Lincoln, Lincolnshire, UK. There is a tradition within the Lincoln rugby team and it is thought they are Minerva's warriors, each match being won in her honour.
The journal of the intrepid and renowned Special Air Service Regiment of the British Army is "Mars and Minerva".