Liberty (goddess)  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Goddesses named for and representing the concept Liberty have existed in many cultures, including classical examples dating from the Roman Empire and some national symbols such as the British "Britannia" or the Irish "Kathleen Ni Houlihan".


Classical examples

The ancient Roman goddess Libertas was honored during the second Punic War by a temple erected on the Aventine Hill in Rome by the father of Tiberius Gracchus. A statue in her honor was also raised by Clodius on the site of Marcus Tullius Cicero's house after it had been razed. The figure also resembles Sol Invictus, the Roman god of sun.

Neoclassical references

In 1793, during the French Revolution, the Notre Dame de Paris cathedral was turned into a "Cult of Reason" and for a time "Lady Liberty" replaced the Virgin Mary on several altars.

National embodiments of Liberty include Britannia in the United Kingdom, "Liberty Enlightening the World," commonly known as the Statue of Liberty in the United States of America, and Marianne in France.

Embodiments of the goddess Liberty in the United States of America include Columbia, which is yet another personification of the goddess Liberty.


In the United States, "Liberty" is often depicted with the five-pointed American stars, usually on a raised hand. Another hand may hold a sword downward. Depictions familiar to Americans include the following:

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Liberty (goddess)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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