Minerva became identified with the Greek goddess Athena, but she likely had her origins in the Etruscan goddess Menrva. Her name contains the same root as mens, the mind; accordingly, she is the personification of thinking power. She was worshiped as the goddess of wisdom and the patroness of all the arts and trades. Men were guided to victory in war through prudence as much as courage, so the booty gained in war was often dedicated to her. Thus, she was frequently represented with a helmet, shield, and spear.

She was also considered to be the inventor of musical instruments, especially wind instruments. Trumpets, horns, and flutes were significant in religious worship. It is not surprising that their purification would come at the end of the festival of Minerva in March.

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