These mystic, and perhaps imaginary, symbols have given birth to various fables and conjectures. It seems probable that the Palladium was a small statue (three cubits and a half high) of Minerva, with a lance and distaff; that it was usually inclosed in a 'seria', or barrel, and that a similar barrel was placed by its side to disconcert curiosity or sacrilege. See Mezeriac (Comment. sur les Epitres d'Ovide, tom. i. p. 60-66) and Lipsius (tom. iii. p. 610, de Vesta, etc., c. 10).