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Reply #: P.S. The Roman deity of liberty. [View All]

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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-05-13 03:03 AM
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P.S. The Roman deity of liberty.
Edited on Mon Aug-05-13 03:07 AM by No Elephants
Liber, the male deity, was a bit of a boozer and, well, a libertine. Interestingly, his day, Liberalia, was March 17, the same as St. Patrick's Day, which, for some reason, devolved into a day of drinking and drunkeness.

In ancient Roman religion and mythology, Liber ("the free one"), also known as Liber Pater ("the free Father") was a god of viticulture and wine, fertility and freedom. He was a patron deity of Rome's plebeians and was part of their Aventine Triad. His festival of Liberalia (March 17) became associated with free speech and the rights attached to coming of age. His cult and functions were increasingly associated with Bacchus and his Greek equivalent Dionysus, whose mythologies he came to share.<1>


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liber


The early "goddiness" of Roman female deity, Libertas, is marred by a spite fight over real estate, specifically the home of Cicero, the Roman orator/philosoper/politician.

Libertas had been a deity, which is less than a goddess or god. Then, a plebian tribune introduced a law that made illegal--and cause for execution--something that Cicero had done four years earlier, i.e., an law. Specifically, Cicero, as a government official, had executed several people without a trial. Cicero argued that his official post protected him, but he lost this argument. So, Cicero went into exile, rather than be executed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cicero

(We can detect in Cicero's story, as wiki tells it, the beginnings of some provisions of the bill of rights and other Constitutional provisions, as well as the law of sovereign immunity, and maybe even the Framers' distate for and fear of democracy, but all that is another story for another post.)

Anyway, Libertas had recently risen to the status of a goddess. So, after Cicero went into exile, Tiberius Gracchus ordered that a temple of Libertas be erected, which it was.

Then, the same plebian tribune who had announced the ex post facto law that had led Cicero to exile himself, built a second temple to Libertas on the site of Cicero's home. That made it illegal for anyone (including Cicero) to live there.

Cicero did. however, return and argue successfully for the return of his home and land.

And Libertas is the inspiration for Columbia, who appears on some coins, Lady Liberty, and the statute of Liberty.

ETA: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertas






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