Depictions and meanings of the Roman deities Libertas and Sol

In ancient Rome, Libertas and Sol were two important deities in the society. Here are their depictions and meanings:


Image: Roman goddess Libertas depicted on an aureus of Roman emperor Galba

Libertas was the Roman goddess of liberty and freedom. She was often depicted as a woman wearing a Phrygian cap, which was a symbol of emancipation and freedom, and carrying a rod or scepter. In some depictions, she was also shown holding a pileus, which was a type of hat worn by slaves when they were granted their freedom. Libertas was associated with the concept of libertas publica, which referred to the freedom of the Roman people as a whole, rather than individual liberty. She was also associated with the goddess Fortuna, who represented good fortune and luck.

Femininizing of important virtues by the ancient Romans

In ancient Roman culture, it was common to personify important virtues such as generosity, liberty, and piety in a feminine form. The Latin word for liberty, “libertas,” was derived from the name of the Roman goddess Libertas (known as Eleutheria in Greek mythology). This goddess was often depicted on coins and other artifacts, including an aureus of Roman emperor Galba.

Did you know?

The famous Statue of Liberty (aka Lady Libery) in New York City, U.S. is named after the Roman goddess called Libertas. Standing at 151 ft. 1 in, the copper statue symbolizes the abolishment of slavery in 1865 and the celebration of freedom for all.


Roman god Sol

Sol was the Roman god of the sun and was often identified with the Greek god Helios. He was depicted as a handsome young man driving a horse-drawn chariot across the sky, with rays of sunlight emanating from his head. Sol was associated with light, warmth, and the cycles of the seasons. He was also associated with Apollo, the Greek god of music, poetry, and the arts.

Their meanings and significance

In Roman religion, both Libertas and Sol were important symbols of freedom and enlightenment. Libertas represented the political and social freedoms that were valued by the Roman people, while Sol represented the spiritual and intellectual enlightenment that came from the sun’s light and warmth. Both deities played important roles in Roman mythology and were honored through various rituals and festivals throughout the year.