Rome, Italy - Gallery Il Vittoriano Statue of Minerva; Lexington, MA - Minuteman Monument

Victor Emmanuel II Monument Minerva Roma.jpg


Rome, Italy - Gallery Il Vittoriano Statue of Minerva; Lexington, MA - Minuteman Monument

Catalog Entry

War is an unfortunate reality of life. Many civilizations prepare for war and have many factions and groups dedicated to protecting the nation form invaders. Those who fall in war often receive monuments, dedicated by those they gave their lives to protect. War has a dire impact on society, and many lives are impacted by its arrival. Much can be learned of cultures through their memorials and monuments, such as their value of warriors, and how sacrifice and loss are processed by the population. Monuments to the fallen have been erected around the world since the times of the Ancient Greeks. One such monument that was placed to honor those fallen soldiers was the Statue of Minerva in Rome, Italy.

The Statue of Minerva, located in the Gallery Il Vittoriano in Rome, Italy, is a tall statue of the Roman goddess Minerva. Dedicated as a monument to fallen soldiers, the statue serves as a reminder of those who have given their lives to defend others. Minerva is the Roman goddess of battle, the arts, and craft. Minerva is also heralded as a protector of soldiers on the battlefield. Those who had family on the battlefield would often pray to Minerva, asking to keep their loved ones safe, and to ensure their victory. This aspect of Minerva is detailed further in the Iliad, written by the epic poet Homer. In Book 6 of the Iliad, Hector, the Prince of Troy, falls back from the battle to ask his mother to pray to the goddess Minerva to protect the Trojan troops: “’Holy Minerva,’ she cried, ‘Protectress of our city, mighty goddess, break the spear of Diomed and lay him low before the Scaean gates.’” (Homer, Book 6). The Trojan women call upon Minerva to stop the Grecian warrior Diomed and to protect the Trojan troops and city. The idea of calling upon one to protect the homeland from an invading force is not limited to the ancient Romans. Civilizations spanning the globe and across time have built monuments memorializing the soldiers who have given their lives in battle.

The Memorial to the Lexington Minuteman located on Lexington Battle Green in Lexington, MA, United States, also is dedicated to fallen soldiers. The Minutemen were civilians tasked with defending the newborn America from the British. These citizens were not officially trained and instead were citizens whom coalesced together to form a militia for the colonies. Much like the Statue of Minerva at Il Vittoriano, the Minuteman Monument at Lexington is dedicated to those colonists that sacrificed their lives in order to defend their home and families. And like Minerva, the Minutemen and other militia members were seen as the protectors of an infant America and were praised and honored after death. The fact that these two statues, separated by thousands of miles and hundreds of years, were created to serve the same purpose proves that soldiers will never be forgotten. Those who fall protecting their homeland from invaders have been memorialized since ancient times and will continue to be remembered.


Chu, David S.C., et al. “Decision Making for Defense.” New Challenges, New Tools for Defense Decisionmaking, 1st ed., RAND Corporation, 2003, pp. 13–32. JSTOR,


Pettyjohn, Stacie L. “Continental Defense, 1783–1815.” U.S. Global Defense Posture, 1783–2011, RAND Corporation, 2012, pp. 15–18. JSTOR,

Van Evera, Stephen. “Offense, Defense, and the Causes of War.” International Security, vol. 22, no. 4, 1998, pp. 5–43. JSTOR, JSTOR,

Catalog Entry Author(s)

Nick Elliott, Student, Fitchburg State University

Research Assistant(s)

Tatiana Maldonado, Student, Fitchburg State University


Kisha G. Tracy


“Rome, Italy - Gallery Il Vittoriano Statue of Minerva; Lexington, MA - Minuteman Monument,” Cultural Heritage through Image, accessed September 27, 2022,

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