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Please add updates or make corrections to the NumisWiki text version as appropriate.
LIBERO PATRI - This legend appears on a rare gold and an equally rare silver coin of Septimius Severus, having for its type the god Bacchus, under the image of a young man who holds in his left hand the thyrus, and in his right a dish or cup; at his feet is a panther or tiger.

It may be supposed, says Pedrusi, who gives an engraving of this medal (Mus. Farnes. vol iii p. 291), that the vain devotion which Septimius Severus professed towards this divinity might occasion him to believe himself indebted to the high patronage of Father Bacchus for the favourable issue of his military enterprises in Asia: "Nella stolta credenza di quei tempi veneravasi Bacco come Signore e Conquestatore dell" Oriente; e in consequenza pregiavasi molto in quelle regioni la di lui protezione."

The alleged reason for giving the appelation of Liber to Bacchus has already been stated. The thyrus, observes Pedrusi, is the appropriate sceptre of Bacchus, but in the present instance he holds instaed of it a spear in his left hand; and in that peculiarity the type conforms to Microbius 's description of the image Liber Pater worshipped with peculiar attachment by the Lacedonmonians, and which bore (says the writer) "Hasta insigne, non Thyrso."

Bacchus is attended by a tiger or panther, as an animal consecrated to him, and which is often seen on medals and bas reliefs drawing the chariot of the god. Alluding to this Seneca (in Hyppolit.) is thus descriptive in his poetry:

Et tu thysigera Liber ab India
Intonsi juvenis perprtuum coma
Tigres pampinea cispide territans, etc

And thus also signs Martial (lib 8, epig. 26):

Nam cum captivos ageret sub curribus Indos
Contentus gemina tigrade Bacchus erat.

The head of Liber, crowned with ivy, appears on coins of the Cassia, Petronia, Porcia, Vibia, Vipsania, and Volteia families.

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