Thursday, May 24, 2012


An unfinished post from... the Vault of Unfinished Posts. 

At one point during Gun Blogger Rendezvous I was watching people exchange business cards and commented that I almost had cards to bring, but I did the Internet search, and found the design I wanted, too late.

I hadn't thought people would pay the off-hand, half aloud remark any attention, but I found myself explaining that I had done a Google Image search for Libertas, the Roman goddess of freedom and liberty, and it led me to a Zazzle store of mostly libertarian tendencies, with strong Wookie Suiter influence, which sells, among other things, business cards with the image of Libertas on them.

A phrygian cap
Libertas, as the many links below will tell you,was one of many deities the Romans recognized who were deities or personifications of a concept.  Recognized as the personification of individual freedom, as well as collective freedom (at least for Romans), her normal role in society was as the tutelary goddess of freed slaves, who wore her phrygian cap as a sign that they had been given (or had bought) their freedom.

Seal of the US Army, with phrygian cap
Now, if you clicked on that image search above you noticed right away that you got a lot of photos of the Statute of Liberty. Among others, an article (on Facebook) from Chic Today Magazine (!) on "Lady Libertas today" talks about how Libertas was the model for the statue.
3rd Century AD Roman coin depicting Libertas. Source.

One reason I was looking for the photos of Libertas was that I had run across a reference to the cat as her familiar.  I knew that the Romans regarded dogs as cthonic creatures, and dirty, due to their eating carrion, and the fact that they slept while the barbarians snuck into Rome (while the geese, of course, raised the alarm), but I was unfamiliar (no pun intended) with Roman attitudes towards cats.  On the other hand, you can easily see (unless you are so prejudiced against cats you refuse to) how a cat--or Cat--would be a symbol of  freedom and liberty.

Some of the sources list Cat as a symbol of Libertas, others do not.  Most list a staff and/or a spear.

I'm pretty sure I had more to say on the subject, but... I got nuthin'.

No comments: