Fides, the Goddess of Faith

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In Roman religion, Fides was the goddess of faith (bona fides) and trust.

She was one of the first ideals to be regarded as a legitimate religious deity. Everything necessary for “honor and credibility, from loyalty in marriage to commercial agreements and the duty troops owed to Rome,” is referred to as fides. Fides also means “reliable” and “bedrock of interactions between individuals and their communities,” and it was later transformed into a Roman god, from whence we derive the term “fidelity” in English. This trustworthiness is always reciprocal between two parties.

Related article: Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Rome

She was also revered as Fides Publica Populi Romani, which translates as “Public (or Common) Trust of the Roman People.” She is portrayed as a young woman holding a turtledove, fruits, grain, or a military ensign while wearing an olive or laurel wreath around her head. She is covered in white.

Featured image: Roman coin; silver denarius of Commodus, Fides with standard, cornucopiae and star reverse, Rome mint, AD192



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