|“||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 is the Roman goddess whom, from the 2nd century BC onwards, the Romans equated with the Greek goddess of war Athena. She was the virgin goddess of wisdom, poetry, medicine, commerce, weaving, and crafts. She is often depicted with her sacred creature, an owl, which symbolizes her ties to wisdom. As a war deity, she's only favorable to defensive wars. Though Romans considered owls to be bad or evil they were considered to be Minerva's symbol.
Minerva was the goddess of wisdom and crafts. Unlike her Greek counterpart Athena, Minerva lost most of her war skill and instead was the goddess of crafts. This goddess represented the application of intellect in everyday tasks. As the goddess of wisdom, she was accredited with inventing spinning, weaving, numbers, and music. She is also the patron goddess of medicine. Ovid described her 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 one of the Capitoline triad, in association with Jupiter and Juno. Her shrine on the Aventine in Rome was 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.
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, Annabeth remembers being in Grand Central Station and seeing her mother looking at a subway map. She walks over to her, but when the goddess doesn't recognize her, Annabeth quickly figures out she is talking to Minerva. Minerva claims that she used to be more than this, that she used to carry a spear and shield, but now only has a large walking stick as if she is going on a trip. She also tells Annabeth that the Romans took her and while the gods wanted to split the Greek and Roman demigods apart, she wanted them to battle it out and allow the Greeks to defeat them. When Annabeth wonders what happened to her, as she is supposed to be wise, Minerva becomes very angry that Annabeth would aid Percy Jackson (who was at Camp Jupiter). She tells Annabeth to avenge her and gives her the Mark of Athena before looking back at the subway map and talking about needing to find her way home.
Unlike her Greek counterpart, Minerva is not a war goddess to the Romans, she acts as more of a defense/strategic adviser and artist (the Romans looked down upon defensive maneuvers, for the most part, always falling back on them as a last resort even if Minerva was completely correct in suggesting a retreat). Because of this, Minerva hates the Romans and wants revenge on them for stealing her statue. 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. She didn't even know who Annabeth was and had problems reading a subway map (though this is due to her conflicting natures).
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).
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.