As we shall see later, this Censer seems to represent one of the ancient Tripods, which, numbering nine in all, constituted the ancient Palladia of the Chinese Empire.
Before discussing this aspect of our subject it seems desirable to define precisely what a Palladium is . The word is derived from Palladium , an archaic wooden image of Pallas Athena,(a) which was kept in the citadel at Troy and concerning which there was a prophecy that so long as the Trojans had it that city would never fall. Fable relates that Zeus threw it down from Heaven when Ilus was building Troy. It was probably some very ancient fetish, such as are common among many primitive races even to-day. In order to bring about the fall of Troy Odysseus and Diomedes stole it from the Capitol and deposited it in one of the Greek cities, but as several claimed to possess it, we cannot say with certainty to which it was carried by the Greeks. The Romans declared that there was a second Palladium, which Aeneas carried with him to Italy, and this was kept in the Temple of Vesta at Rom e.