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On this page: Mfndius Marcellus – Mfnio – Minerva – Minervfna – Minfcia Gens – Minfdius



part of the coast, and attacked them from the land in the rear. Mindarus hereupon disembarked to meet him, but was slain in the battle, and the Athe­nians gained a complete victory, b.c. 410. (Thuc. viii. 85, 99—105, 107, 108 ; Xen. Hell. i. M 1, 3—5, 8—18 ; Plut. Ale. 27, 28 ; Diod. xiii. 39, 45, 49—51.) [hippocrates. No. 6.] [E.E.]


MINERVA^ one of the great Roman divinities, whose name seems to be of the same root as mens, whence monere and promenervare (Fest. p. 205, ed. Muller). She is accordingly the thinking, calcu­lating, and inventive power personified. Varro (ap. Aug. de Civ. Dei, vii. 28) therefore considered her as the impersonation of all ideas, or as the plan of the universe, while Jupiter, according to him, is the creator, and Juno the representative of matter. Minerva was the third in the number of the Capitoline divinities^ and sometimes is said to have wielded the thunderbolts of Jupiter, her father. Tarquin, the son of Demaratus, was be­lieved to have united the three divinities in one common temple, and hence, when repasts were pre* pared for the gods, these three always went together (August, de Civ. Dei, iv. 10 ; Val. Max. ii. 1. § 2). As Minerva was a virgin divinity, and her father the supreme god, the Romans easily identified her with the Greek Athena, and accordingly all the attributes of Athena were gradually transferred to the Roman Minerva. But we shall here confine ourselves to those which were peculiar to the Roman goddess, as far as they can be ascertained.

As she was a maiden goddess her sacrifices con­sisted of calves which had not borne the yoke or felt the sting (Fulgentius, p. 561, ed. Merc.; Arnob. iv. 16, vii. 22). She is said to have invented numbers, and it is added that the law respecting the driving in of the annual nail was for this reason attached to the temple of Minerva (Liv. viL 3) ; but it is generally well attested that she was wor­shipped as the patroness of all the arts and trades, for at her festival she was particularly invoked by all those who desired to distinguish themselves in any art or craft, such as painting, poetry, the art of teaching, medicine, dyeing, spinning, weaving, and the like. (Ov. Fast. iii. 809, &c.; August. /. c. vii. 16.)

This character of the goddess may be perceived also from the proverbs " to do a thing pingui Mi­nerva" i. e. to do a thing in an awkward or clumsy manner; and sus Minervam, of a stupid person who presumed to set right an intelligent one. Minerva, however, was the patroness, not only of females, on whom she conferred skill iii sewing, spinning, weaving, &c., but she also guided men in the dangers of war, where victory is gained by cunning, prudence, courage, and perseverance. Hence she was represented with a helmet, shield, and a coat of mail; and the booty made in war was frequently dedicated to her. (Liv. xlv. 33 ; Virg. Aen. ii. 615.) Minerva was further believed to be the inventor of musical instruments, especially wind instruments, the use of which was very im­portant in religious worship, and which were ac­cordingly subjected to a sort of purification every year on the last day of the festival of Minerva. This festival lasted five days, from the 19th to the 23d of March, and was called Quinquatrus, because it began on the fifth day after the ides of the month. (Fest. pp. 149, 257, ed. Muller ; Varro, De L. L. vi. 14; Ov. Fast. iii. 849.) This number


of days does not seem to have been accidental, for Servius (ad Virg. Georg. i. 277) informs us that the number 5 was sacred to Minerva. (See Diet, of Ant. s. v. Quinquatrus.} The most ancient temple of Minerva at Rome was probably that on the Capitol ; another existed on the Aventine (P. Vict. Reg. Urb. viii.; Ov. Fast. vi. 728) ; and she had a chapel at the foot of the Caelian hill, where she bore the surname of Capta. (Ov. Fast. iii. 337.) She also had the surname of Nautia, which was believed to have originated in the following manner. Diomedes had carried the Palladium from Troy ; and as he found that it availed him nothing in his misfortunes, and as the oracle commanded him to restore it to the Trojans, he wanted to deliver it up to Aeneas on his wanderings through Calabria. When he came to the Trojans, he found Aeneas engaged in offering up a sacrifice, arid Nautes re­ceived the Palladium instead of Aeneas. The goddess (Minerva) bestowed many favours upon him, instructed him in various arts, and chose him for her servant. The family of the Nautii after­wards retained the exclusive knowledge of the manner in which Minerva Nautia was to be wor­shipped. Her mysterious image was preserved in the most secret part of the temple of Vesta, and regarded as one of the safeguards of the state. (Dionys. i. 69 ; Virg. Aen. v. 704; Serv. ad Aen. ii. ] 66, iii. 407 ; Lucan. i. 598 ; comp. Hartung, Die Relig. der Romer, vol. ii. p. 78, &c.) [L. S.]

MINERVFNA, the mother of crisp us caesar, is usually termed by historians the first wife of Constantine the Great. However, Victor (Epit. 41) and Zosimus (ii. 20), both of whom mention her name, state expressly that she was his concubine, and their account is confirmed by Zonaras (xiii. 2). To this direct testimony we can oppose nothing, except the improbability that Constantine should have marked out an illegitimate son as his suc­ cessor. (Tillemont, Hist, des Empereurs, vol. iv. art. iv. p. 84, and Notes sur Constantin, note v.). [W. R.]

MINFCIA GENS, came originally from Brixia (Brescia), in Cisalpine Gaul. Brixia was a Roman colony, but in what year it became one is Un­ known. (Plin. H. N. iii. 19.) The Minicii occur only under the empire. There was a C. Minicius Fundanus, one of the consules suffecti in A. d. 51; and another C. Minicius, also one of the consules suffecti in a. d. 103. For this gens see Labus, Epigrdpha nuovamente uscita dalle escavazioni Bresdana, Milan, 1830. [W. B. D.]

MINFDIUS, L., was a Roman merchant or banker, established at Elis in b. c. 46, with whose heirs Cicero had some pecuniary transactions. He was brother of L. Mescinius Rufus, quaestor in Achaia [Rurus], and married an Oppia. (Cic. ad Fam. xiii. 26, 28.) [W. B. D.]

MINFDIUS or MFNDIUS, M., brother and heir of L. Minidius, and also a Roman merchant. Cicero was engaged in a law-suit with him. (Cic. ad Fam. v. 20, xiii. 26.) [ W. B. D.]

MFNIO. I. Was the confidential friend and counsellor of Antiochus the Great, and his repre­sentative at the conference with the Roman envoys at Ephesus in b. c. 193. Minio commanded a portion of Antiochus' centre at the battle of Mag­nesia in b. c. 190. (Liv. xxxv. 15, 16, xxxvii. 40, 42.)

2. Q. mynnio (MwWeov), was a native of Smyrna, who, conspiring against Mithridates VI.

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