Romano-Egyptian Votive Terracotta Fragment of Minerva


A Romano-Egyptian terracotta fragment portraying the head of the Roman goddess Minerva. The deity is seen wearing her characteristic attribute, a large Corinthian helmet, which sits high on her head. Her hair, neatly drawn back, reveal her naturalistically executed facial features, now slightly worn due to age. This head fragment would have originally belonged to a votive statuette produced in Alexandrian workshops, exported in the Mediterranean regions. Mould-made in two sections, the fragment displays on its sides the lines where the two halves were attached together in antiquity.

Date: Circa 2nd century AD
Provenance: From a North London gentleman collection, in storage since the 1970s; then property of a West London gentleman.
Condition: Fragment in fine condition, slight chip to the top, mounted on a custom-made stand. Chipped at the helmet's point. Earthy encrustations remain on the surface.


In Roman religion Minerva, the equivalent of the Greek goddess Athena, was an extremely important and powerful deity. Together with Jupiter and Juno, she was part of the Capitoline Triad worshipped on the Capitoline Hill, which integrated the Etruscan trinity formed by Tini, Uni and Menura, into the Roman religion. She was worshipped by the Romans as the goddess of medicine, strategy, science and wisdom. Contrarily to the god of war Mars, she was believed to fight on behalf of just causes, hence, was not seen as a patron of violence, but as a civilising influence.

To find out more about Roman goddesses, please visit our relevant blog post: Roman Goddesses in Mythology.

Weight 116.3 g
Dimensions H 7.6 cm



Pottery and Porcelain

Roman Mythology