Palladium (mythology)

Palladium (Mythology)

Palladium (mythology)

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In Greek and Roman mythology, a palladium or palladion was an image of great antiquity on which the safety of a city was said to depend. "Palladium" especially signified the wooden statue (xoanon) of Pallas Athena that Odysseus and Diomedes stole from the citadel of Troy and which was later taken to the future site of Rome by Aeneas. The Roman story is related in Virgil's Aeneid and other works.

In English, since circa 1600, the word "palladium" has meant anything believed to provide protection or safety — a safeguard.

The Trojan Palladium

Origins

The Trojan Palladium was said to be a wooden like image of Pallas (whom the Greeks identified with Athena and the Romans with Minerva) and to have fallen from heaven in answer to the prayer of Ilus, the founder of Troy.

"The most ancient talismanic effigies of Athena," Ruck and Staples report, "...were magical found objects, faceless pillars of Earth in the old manner, before the Goddess was anthropomorphized and given form through the intervention of human intellectual meddling."Carl Ruck and Danny Staples, The World of Classical Myth.

Arrival at Troy

The arrival at Troy of the Palladium, fashioned by AthenaThe trope of an icon not fashioned by human hands survives in the Christian acheiropoieta.Bibliotheke iii.144. as part of the city's founding myth, was variously referred to by...
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