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Palladium

Παλλάδιον). A name generally applied to any image of Pallas Athené, but specifically to the one which was kept secretly hidden as insuring the safety of the town possessing it. The most famous effigy of this sort was the carved image preserved jealously in the citadel of Troy. It is described as of three cubits in height, the feet placed close together, holding a spear in its right hand, and either a distaff or a shield in its left. It was traditionally said to have been given by the goddess herself to Chrysé, the bride of Dardanus, who brought it to Dardania, whence Ilus carried it to Troy. Another legend makes Zeus to have sent it to Ilus from heaven. It was believed that Troy could not be taken so long as the image remained in the city; whereupon Odysseus and Diomedes stole it away and carried it to Argos (Conon , Narrat. 34; Verg. Aen. ii. 164). Later tradition makes Troy to have had two Palladia, one being stolen by Diomedes and one to have been carried by Aeneas into Italy; so that a number of cities in Italy afterwards claimed to possess it. These were Rome, Lavinium, Siris, and Luceria. (See Plut. Camill. 120; Tac. Ann. xv. 41; ad Aen. ii. 166; Strabo, p. 264.) The Roman Palladium was preserved in the temple of Vesta. See Vesta.

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