Liberty (goddess)

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This article is about goddesses who represent Liberty. For the statue created during the Tiananmen Square protests, see Goddess of Democracy. For other uses, see Goddess of Liberty.
"Lady liberty" redirects here. For other uses, see Lady Liberty.
Depictions of Liberty
A crowned, robed woman holding aloft a torch
Statue of Liberty (Liberty Enlightening the World), New York, USA
A woman in a gown holding up three gold stars
Freedom Monument, Riga, Latvia
A defiant woman in a robe holding aloft a torch
Goddess of Democracy, originally Beijing, China

A goddess named for and representing the concept Liberty has existed in many cultures, including classical examples dating from the Roman Empire to those representing national symbols such as the American Columbia and its Statue of Liberty, an artwork created under the name Liberty Enlightening the World, and the French Marianne.

Classical examples[edit]

Denarius (42 BCE) issued by Cassius Longinus and Lentulus Spinther, depicting the crowned head of Libertas, with a sacrificial jug and Lituus on the reverse

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 also was raised by Clodius on the site of Marcus Tullius Cicero's house after it had been razed. The figure bears certain resemblances to Sol Invictus, the late Roman Republic sun deity and the crown often associated with that deity often appears in modern depictions of Liberty.

Neoclassical references[edit]

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.

Depictions in the United States[edit]

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

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Places We Call Home: Hackensack, N.J.". FDU Magazine. Fall 2001. Retrieved 2008-11-04. 

External links[edit]

Template:Commons category:Allegories of liberty