Minerva and her military equipment

This bronze statuette (of unknown origin) from Rouen museum presents several of the typical attributes of Minerva: her clothing and helmet, and the Gorgoneion. But the position of her right hand indicates that she once held an object which is now lost - no doubt a spear.
The spear and shield were two more of Minerva’s attributes, which highlighted her primary role as a goddess of war. We can guess from the position of her left arm that her left hand was held forwards, in a pose resembling one of the most famous representations of Minerva or Athena - that of Athena Parthenos, who was worshipped in Athens on the Acropolis. This large chryselephantine (gold and ivory) statue was created by Phidias in the mid-5th century BC. He portrayed the goddess with a small Victory in one of her hands, and this is no doubt what our bronze statuette originally held in her left hand.