by Terry Melanson, March 8th, 2009
Pallas Athene (or Minerva to the Romans), the goddess of wisdom, honored the owl as her sacred bird. The owl was recognized as an emblem of penetrating sight and intelligence. It was considered to be a favorable omen if an owl was spotted on the battle field or at times of crisis. The Athenian silver tetradrachm bore the owl (Athene noctua); and owls were protected and thrived in great numbers at the Acropolis of Athens (a temple dedicated to Athena).
The Bavarian Order of the Illuminati
For a secret society called the Order of the Illuminati – emulating the ancient schools of wisdom, and having a "Minerval Academy" as a foundation – would there have been a more fitting symbol than the Owl of Minerva?
The class of Minerval was a relatively low rank in the scheme of things. However, it was the soul of the Order, and functioned as a sort of assembly line for recruits.