"Free." An ancient Italian divinity who, together with Liber, presided over the cultivation of the vine and fertility of the fields. This seems to have given rise to the combination of their worship with that of Ceres. A temple of these three divinities was vowed by the dictator A. Postumius in 496 BCE, near the Circus Flaminius. Postumius had vowed, when he was on the point of engaging the army of the Latins, to dedicate it to the gods in the name of the commonwealth, and the senate after the victory decreed that this temple should be built entirely out of the spoils. The temple was afterwards restored by Augustus, and dedicated by Tiberius.1 Libera had her own temple at Syracuse.2
During the Plebeian Games, M. Acilius Glabrio and G. Laelius, who presided over these games, erected three bronze statues of Ceres and Liber and Libera from the money they received as fines.3
- Dionysius of Halicarnassus. Roman Antiquities vi, 94; Tacitus. Annales ii, 49.
- Cicero. Against Verres iv, 52.
- Livy. The History of Rome xxxiii, 25.
- Cicero. De Natura Deorum ii, 24.
- Ovid. Fasti iii, 512.
- Smith, William. (1870). Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology. London: Taylor, Walton, and Maberly.