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MinervaIn ancient Italy, a mighty goddess did tower
Worshiped by Etruscans, long before Rome became a power.
Goddess of wisdom, trade, arts, and war, she had many perks;
The Greek sage Ovid called her "the goddess of a thousand works"!
Her deeds were many, as her fame spread and grew;
To be brief and less boring, I will list but two.
She competed with Neptune to see who's creation was above the rest;
He created a horse, but Minerva's olive tree was judged the best.
Proud Arachne claimed to be a weaver without equal, above the gods.
Yet Minerva heard her proud boast, and those watching laid odds.
Mortal and goddess, each created a tapestry quite sublime;
Yet Minerva's was best, and Arachne's hubris judged a crime.
With 3 taps on the mortal's head, Minerva changed her to a spider,
In shame and horror Arachne spun the first web to hide her.
As the great city of Rome was founded and grew,
Worship of Minerva spread, and her fame did too.
She became one of the Capitoline Triad, the three greatest gods;
Along with Jupiter and Juno, what were the odds?
That the goddess of a simple country folk would be honored and adored
By the mighty Roman empire, with their pilums and swords?
Though a goddess of war, Minerva was neither cruel nor unjust;
She had sympathy for those her armies beat, in her word you could trust.
Over time Minerva gained many titles; Medica, Castitis, and Luscinia a few
Patron of doctors, olive trees, and the flute, but I'm sure you knew.
A festival, the Quinquatrus in ancient Rome, honored Minerva and Mars;
On her day, no blood could be shed; on his gladiators were the stars.
Oh Minerva, patron of poetry and art, if ever you lived, or perhaps are living still;
Accept this simple poem I offer, and do with it what you will.