The generall history of vvomen containing the lives of the most holy and prophane, the most famous and infamous in all ages, exactly described not only from poeticall fictions, but from the most ancient, modern, and admired historians, to our times
Heywood, Thomas, d. 1641.


SHE is likewise called Pallas, born of the brain of Iupi∣ter; she is the goddesse of Wisdome, Discipline, and Arms, and therefore called Bellona, and therefore translated into the number of the gods, because the invention of arts and sciences are attributed to her. The places ce∣lebrated to her deity, were Ithinas, a hill neer to Athens, where she had a Temple erected; the mountain P••eas, in Attica; in Aracinthus, a place in Aetolia, from which (as Statius writes) she was called Aracinthia. Pliny saith, that Nea, one of the Islands called Cyclades, was pecu∣liar to her. But Athens was her place of most honour, which City she is said to have built. From thence she hath the name of Athnaea, Attica, Cecropia, and Mosopia, Horace Carm. lib. 1. The great City called Alcomeneum, scituate in Boeotia, hath likewise by the Testament of the first founder submitted it selfe to her patronage. Of Scira, a Prophet of Elucina, she was called Sciras. The solemni∣zation of her festivals, were called Panathenea. There were certaine wrestling contentions, which Theseus in A∣thens, first instituted to this goddesse, as Plutarch hath de∣livered. She had likewise her Quinquatria yearly celebra∣ted, which were kept sacred five daies after the black day, (and therefore so called) the black day was immediately after the Ides: In her sacrifices it was their custome to offer a Goat, because as Pliny hath left recorded, The biting of the Goat is prejudiciall to the Olive tree, whose fruit Mi∣nerva best loveth; the very licking of the rind with their tongues makes it barren. She slew the beast Alcida, a mon∣ster that from his mouth and nostrils breathed fire. Aelianus writes, that when Alexander brought his army against The∣bes (amongst many other prodigies) that the image of Mi∣nerva, sirnamed Atalcomineides was burnt by a voluntary flame, no fire being neer it. At Assessum she had two Tem∣ples: Page  15 from that place she was called Minerva Assessia. From other places where she was worshipped, she took the name of Pallenides and Pedasia: Alea from her Temple amongst the Tegeates. Tutelaris she was called by the inhabitants of Chios, and honoured as an Oracle amongst the Aegyp∣tians; she had only a poch amongst the Scians. In some places her statues were covered with gold, in others they were of plain stone. She had a Temple in Sige∣um: three others, Siadis, Aegis, and Crastiae: she was by some called Minerva Vrbana, and Minerva Isliadi. Herodo∣tus writeth, that when Xerxes transported his army into Greece, passing by Troy, and being perusing the antiqui∣ties thereof; and upon his departure thence, at the Altar of Minerva, he sacrificed a thousand oxen one day. Many things are fabled of her by Poets, as of her contention in weaving, with Arachne, which I purposely refer to her story as it fals in course. She is the Hieroglyphick of Wisdome, and therefore the Poet Martianus writes that she was born without a mother, because that in women there is scarce any wisedom to be found; in a Hymn upon Pallas he is thus read:

Hanc de patreferum, sine matris saedere natam;
Provida cosilia, quod nescit curia matrum.
Of father therefore, without mother born;
Because learn'd Courts, the womens counsell scorn.

The Maclies and the Auses, are two nations that border upon the spacious Fen Tritonides: Their virgins in the yearly feast of Minerva, in celebrations of their rights to the goddesse, divide themselves into two armies, and fight one part against the other, with stones, clubs, and other weapons of hostility: such as perish in the conflict, they hold to be no true and perfect Virgins, because not pro∣tected by the goddess: But she that hath born her selfe the most valiant in the conflict, is by common consent of the rest▪ ••ichly adorned, and beautified with the best armour, according to the manner of the Greeks, her head beauti∣fied with a Corinthian crest or plume, and seated in a Cha∣rio dawn through the Tritonian Fen. They have it by tradition, that Minerva was the daughter of Neptune, and the Fen before named, and being reproved by her father, she ••ok it in such scorn, that she utterly rejected him and gave he selfe to Iupiter, who adopted her his daughter. Zaleucus when e commended his lawes to the Locrenses, to make them the better observed by the people, told them, Page  16Minerva had appeared to him, and did dictate and pro∣pose to him whatsoever he had delivered to them. The most famous of Poets, Homer, he mad Minerva a compani∣on of Vlysses in his travels; in whom he personated the most wise man amongst the Grecians, who freed him from all dangers, labours, and ship-wrecks, and brought him in safety to his Country, Parents, Queen, Sonne, and Subjects: thereby intimating, That by Wisedome and Knowledge, all difficult things may be easily undergone. This is that win∣ged horse Pegasus, by which Perseus subdued so many mon∣sters. This is that shield of Pallas, to which the Gorgons head being fastned, turns the beholders to stone, amazing the ignorant and unlearned. Agreeable to this is Homers first book of his Odyssae, the argument I give you thus in English:

Pallas by Joves command, from heaven descends,
And of the Paphian Mentor takes the shape,
In which she to Telemachus commends
Such Greeks as from revenging Hellens rage
Were home return'd, Nestor amongst the rest,
And Menelaus; urging him to enquire
Of them, who in the wars at Troy did best?
And whose heroick acts did most aspire?
But of Ulysses, chiefly to learn newes,
What course he takes, or what attempt pursues.
Again, in the second Book.
Vnknown to fierce Antinous and his mates,
Telemachus from Court in secret steals,
On him Joves daughter, bright Minerva waits,
And taking Mentors shape her selfe conceals.
He by the goddesse Urgence, straight prepares
For such a voiage, instantly providing
All needfull helps, apt for such great affairs.
Their ship made ready: unto Pallas guiding▪
He trusts himselfe, by help of saile and oare,
They put to sea, and lose the sight of shore.

Vlysses suffering ship-wreck,* and cast naked upon the shore of Pheacus, he was assisted further by her, as followes in the sixt and seventh arguments.

The wearied Greek all naked steps on shore,
Whether Nausiaca descends to play,
With other Virgins, as it was before
Their custome: up the Greek starts, spying day,
Page  17 With a fair slock of Ladies him beside;
Vp by the roots he tears the herbs, and grasse,
Thinking with them his nakednesse to hide;
And so proceeds unto the queenlike lasse.
Pallas his patronesse, moves her to pity,
She gives him both her chariot and attire,
So to Minervas Temple, neer the City,
He's proudly drawn, guarded by many a squire:
Thus in her altars sight, being lodg'd that night
Ne sives with incense Pallas to requite.
Minerva takes a virgins shape upon her,*
And to the City first Ulysses brings.
But after, to aspire him to more honour,
Into the Pallace (th' ancient seat of Kings.)
Arete wife to Alcinous, first demands,
Where he receiv'd those garments, and what fate
Brought him that way? the Princesse understands
The utmost that Ulysses can relate.
Therefore the Queen accepts him as her guest,
The night perswades, they part to severall rest.

In all his negotiations and travels, Pallas was still his assistant, for Wisedome never forsakes any man in ne∣cessities: insomuch, that after he had freed his Court of his wives unruly utors, having slain them all, and was now peaceably possest of his Kingdome, she was still constant to him in all his extremities. Which I will conclude with the foure and twentieth argument of Homers Odysse, and the last book.

Tartaream vocat in sedem Cillenius umbras.
The mutinous Ghosts of the sad woers slain
Mercury forceth to the vaults below,
What Time th' heroick spirits, thronging complain,
That Agamemnon should be murd'red so,
These being young men of chiefe beauty, and age,
Why they so presse in heaps demands the cause;
And are resolv'd, 'mongst whom Ulysses sage,
And chast Penelope, gain much applause;
Especially from Agamemnons ghost▪
Who had to him a fate much contrary;
Yet whom in lfe he had respected most.
Mean time Ulysses (that 〈◊〉 lng'd to see
His Father, old Laetes)〈…〉
His fortunes, dangers, travels, misery,
Page  18 Both forrein and domestick; what strange spels,
Witchcrafts, and shipwracks, had so long detein'd him
From his grave Father, and his constant Queen,
And to what dire exigents constrein'd him,
In what strange coasts and climats he had been.
By this, the Fathers of the sutors dead,
(Grieving their sons should so untimely fall)
Take counsell, and 'gainst th' Ithacan make head:
These he opposes, and repels them all;
But gathering new supplies, by Joves command,
Pallas from descends t' at tone these ars,
To free all forrein forces from the land,
And by her wisedome compromise these wars.
By his decrees, and her own wisedome guided,
Arms are surceast, all difference is decided.

Pallas hath been often invocated by the Poets, but a∣mongst infinite I will only instance one; and that for the elegancy. Homer in his long peregrination through Greece and other Countries, sometimes by sea, and sometimes by land, and by the reason of his blindnesse grooping his way, he hapned to passe by a place where Potters were at work, and setting such things as they had newly moulded into their furnace; who finding by his harp (for he seldome tra∣velled without it, being one of the best means he had to get his living) that he had some skill in Musick, intreated him that he would play them a fit of mith, and sing them a fine song; which if he would do, they would give him so many small pots and necessary drinking cups for his la∣bour, vailes that belonged to their trade. The conditions were accepted; and he presently to his harp sung this ex∣temporall ditty, called Caminus, or Fornax.

Oh Potters, if you'll give to me that hire
Which you have promis'd, thus to you I'll sing:
Descend O Pallas, and their brains inspire,
And to their trade thy best assistance bring,
That their soft chaices may harden well,
And their moist cups of clay wax brown and dry;
This being done, they may with profit sell,
And customers from all parts come to buy,
Not to the market onely, but even here
Where they be forg'd and burnt: so shall it be
When I am pleas'd, and you have sold them der
Profit to you, and covenant with me.
Page  19 But if you mock me, and my meed deny,
All hideous mischifes to this furnace throng,
May those grosse plagues that thicken in the skie▪
Meet at this forge, to witnesse this my wrong.
Hither rush Smaragus, and with him bring
Asbetes, and Sabactes: quench their fire,
Oh Pallas, 'bout their rooms their models flng,
On Oven, Shop and Furnace vent thine ire:
Else let Omodomas with too much heat
Crack all their vessels, and their art confound,
Bash all their works to mammocks, I intreat;
Pull furnace, forge, harth, house, and all to ground,
That they may bruise together in their fall,
(Whilst all the Potters quake) with such a ruine,
As when huge masts are split and crackt withall,
The warring winds, the seamans wrack pursuing.
In such a tempest let the Chimnies shatter,
And the vast frame within its basses sink:
Whilst 'bout their cars the tiles and rafters clatter,
That all their pipkins, stea, and pots for drink,
And other uses, may be crusht to pouder;
And so convert again into that mire,
Whence they were forg'd. Or if a horror lowder
May be devis'd, here vent thy worst of ire.
Else let that* Witch that cals Apollo father,
Who can from hell the blackest furies call,
And her infectious drugs and poisons gather,
And sprinkle them on work-men, work and all.
Let Chiron to this forge his Centaurs bring,
(All that survived the battell, 'gainst Jove's son)
That they these pots against the wals may ding,
And all their labours into ruine run,
Till what they see, he nothing; and these here
Spectators of this wrack, may howl and yell,
And their great losse lament with many a teare,
Whilst I may laugh aloofe, and say 'twas well.
And to conclude, that he that next aspires
But to come nere the furnace where they stand,
May be the fuel to these raging fires,
And be consum'd to ashes out of hand:
So may the rest that shall escape this danger,
Be warn'd by these, how to deride a stranger.

That the former writers might demonstrate unto us, Page  20 That humane actions are not altogether so governed by the force coelestiall, but that there is some place left open for mans prudence, and wisedome; and besides, to deliver unto us, how acceptable the knowledge of good things is to him who is the giver of all graces: they therefore left this expression to posterity, that Wisedome was the daugh∣ter of Jupiter, and born without a mother, since God is on∣ly wise, and men not so, but meerly in a similitude or sha∣dow. Therefore to manifest the power of Wisdome, they feigned her to come into the world armed, because the wise man respects not the injuries of Fortune, nor puts his trust in any worldly felicity, further then by counsell and pati∣ence to subdue the one, and moderate the other; stil pla∣cing his hopes in that fountaine from whence she first pro∣ceeded. Next, because the feare of the Lord is the be∣ginning of Wisedome, she is said to have combated Giants, the sonnes of the earth: such as in that Gigomantichia, would have pluckt Jupiter out of his throne; by which are intended the presumptions of nature, and the insolencies of men; who, all service and adoration to the divine powers neglected, are not affraid to make insurrection a∣gainst heaven it selfe. I may therefore conclude, that all humane wisedome different against the divine will, is vain and contemptible, since the good man is onely wise, and in the grace and favour or his Maker.