The Bronze Age
“The most violent in nature and tending to the use of savage arms, but without reaching the stage of depravity” (Ovid, Metamorphoses, I, 125-27)
On this occasion the iconography follows Cesare Ripa and the woman depicting the Bronze Age appears with a greenish cloak, a helmet shaped like a lion’s jaws and a lance in her hand. Presiding over this group is Minerva, suggesting a positive way of understanding war through her protection of leading mythological figures such as Jason and Hercules, and also personifying prudence and wisdom. Minerva is accompanied by the two birds associated with her: the crow - for its ability to divine the future - and the owl, for its ability to see in the dark (allowing it to perceive what others are unaware of). Behind we see the menacing figure of Hercules, a representation of the destructive aspect of war, accompanied by Terror (with a lion’s head and whip) and Fury (with a flaming torch, sword and helmet, throwing out tongues of flame).