Figurine of Minerva


Rijksmuseum van Oudheden

Rijksmuseum van Oudheden

The small bronze figurine depicted here represents Minerva, the Roman goddess of the art of war, wisdom and crafts. She can be recognised by her attributes, the Corinthian helmet on her head and her breastplate or ‘aegis’, the legendary goatskin with the Gorgon’s head. Minerva is dressed in Greek garments. She wears a ‘chiton’, a long sleeveless robe, over which is slung a cloak or ‘himation’, which hangs over the left shoulder and around the body. Its end is draped over the left arm. The attributes that Minerva once held in her hands have been lost. The figurine was found during excavations of the mound at Wijnaldum in Friesland. The territory of present-day Friesland did not belong to the Roman Empire but to the free territory of Germania. Nevertheless, the Romans maintained intensive commercial ties with this region. Perhaps the Friesians interpreted this little figure as a representation of one of their own goddesses. The figurine may have served as a form of currency or as a gift from the Romans to a Frisian tribal chief.

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  • Title: Figurine of Minerva
  • Creator: Unknown
  • Date Created: 0100/0300
  • Location: Wijnaldum, Nederland
  • Physical Dimensions: h22.5 cm
  • Datering: 100-300
  • Afmetingen: hoogte: 22,5 cm
  • Type: figurine
  • External Link: Rijksmuseum van Oudheden
  • Medium: metal ; bronze