The Catholic Southern Front

December 6, 2011


Filed under: Uncategorized — Conservative @ 4:44 pm

Wiki says –

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.

Image Above – Nike (Victory) offers an egg to a snake entwined around a column surmounted by the Trojan Palladium. (Marble bas relief, Roman copy of the late 1st Century CE. After a neo-Attic original of the Hellenistic era.) We cannot but note the similarity between this ancient pagan image and modern day images of the Blessed Virgin ‘crushing’ the serpent.


Is properly an image of Pallas Athena, but generally an ancient one, which was kept hidden and secret, and was revered as a pledge of the safety of the town or place where it existed. Among these ancient images of Pallas none is more celebrated than the Trojan Palladium, concerning which there was the following tradition. Athena was brought up by Triton; and his daughter, Pallas, and Athena once were wrestling together for the sake of exercise. Zeus interfered in the struggle, and suddenly held the aegis before the face of Pallas. Pallas, while looking up to Zeus, was wounded by Athena, and died. Athena in her sorrow caused an image of the maiden to be made, round which she hung the aegis, and which she placed by the side of the image of Zeus. Subsequently when Electra, after being dishonoured, fled to this image, Zeus threw it down from Olympus upon the earth. It came down at Troy, where Ilus, who had just been praying to the god for a favourable omen for the building of the city, took it up, and erected a sanctuary to it. According to some, the image was dedicated by Electra, and according to others it was given by Zeus to Dardanus. The image itself is said to have been three cubits in height, its legs close together, and holding in its right hand a spear, and in the left a spindle and a distaff. (Apollod. iii. 12. § 3; Schol. ad Eurip. Orest. 1129; Dionys. i. 69.) This Palladium remained at Troy until Odysseus and Diomedes contrived to carry it away, because the city could not be taken so long as it was in the possession of that sacred treasure. (Conon, Narr. 34; Virg. Aen. ii. 164, &c.) According to some accounts Troy contained two Palladia, one of which was carried off by Odysseus and Diomedes, and the other carried by Aeneas to Italy, or the one taken by the Greeks was a mere imitation, while that which Aeneas brought to Italy was the genuine one. (Dionys. l. c. ; Paus. ii. 23. § 5; Ov. Fast. vi. 421, &c.) But if we look away from this twofold Palladium, which was probably a mere invention to account for its existence in more than one place, several towns both in Greece and Italy claimed the honour of possessing the ancient Trojan Palladium; as for example, Argos (Paus. ii. 23. § 5), and Athens, where it was believed that Diomedes, on his return from Troy, landed on the Attic coast at night, without knowing what country it was. He accordingly began to plunder; but Demophon, who hastened to protect the country, took the Palladium from Diomedes. (Paus. i. 28. § 9.) This Palladium at Athens, however, was different from another image of Pallas there, which was also called Palladium, and stood on the acropolis. (Paus. l. c.) In Italy the cities of Rome, Lavinium. Luceria, and Siris likewise pretended to possess the Trojan Palladium. (Strab. vi. p. 264; Serv. ad Aen. ii. 166, &c.; Plut. Camill. 20; Tac. Ann. xv. 41; Dionys. ii. 66.) Figures reminding us of the description we have of the Trojan Palladium are frequently seen in ancient works of art.


…….it is more probable that Pallas is the same word as pallax, i. e. a virgin or maiden. (Comp. Tzetz. ad Lyc. 355.)

Once the Palladium was taken to Rome the Vestal Virgins were in charge of it….


Ajax the Lesser drags Cassandra from the Palladium. Detail from a Roman fresco in the atrium of the Casa del Menandro (I 10, 4) in Pompeii.

The Palladium was:

 1) a gift of the gods

2) came from the heavens

3) an image of a virgin placed above or trampling a snake

4) protected cities and empires

Likewise, early Christianity was blessed with similar protection through the physical presence of Holy Icons and Relics

It is interesting to note that Emperor Constanine had removed the PALLADIUM from Rome and placed it in Constantinople (Istanbul today) as a clear sign that the political seat of the ancient Roman Empire had moved. Indeed it had moved closer to Jerusalem. He had also carried many Christian sacred relics including the said MAPHORION. Therefore, the ancient tradition of the PALLADIUM (which protected TROY, GREECE and ROME) was kept in the form of sacred images of Our Lady bearing Jesus Christ in her arms.

This blog has described the Blessed Virgin as the Jewish Ark of the Covenant and Solomon’s Temple, however one cannot but notice that time and again similarities also arise between the Virgin of Christianity and ancient pagan goddesses CS Lewis, JR Tolkien and Gilbert Keith Chesterton compared ancient paganism with Christianity and criticised people whose conclusions were that Christianity borrowed heavily from ancient paganism. It is evident that these three writers were right in saying that ancient forms of worship were permitted by Divine Providence as to allow a form of bed rock in the minds of humanity to accept more graciously the revealed truth through the Judeo – Christian Faith. Therefore, if this were the case, all of mankind (pagans as well as Jews) were being prepared for Christianity.




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