in ancient Roman mythology, one of the three chief divinities (with Jupiter and Juno), a virgin goddess of arts, crafts, and sciences; wisdom, sense, and reflection (later identified with Greek Athene), late 14c., Mynerfe, minerve, from Latin Minerva, from Old Latin Menerva, from Proto-Italic *menes-wo- "intelligent, understanding," from PIE root *men- (1) "to think, remember," with derivatives referring to qualities of mind or states of thought (see mind (n.)). Compare Sanskrit Manasvini, name of the mother of the Moon, manasvin "full of mind or sense." Related: Minerval.
Minerva Press, a printing-press formerly in Leadenhall Street, London; also a class of ultra-sentimental novels, remarkable for their intricate plots, published from about 1790 to 1810 at this press, and other productions of similar character. [Century Dictionary]