USA Christian Founding
Paganism in Washington D.C.: Statutes to Structure;
Here is What the Critics Say AGAINST the Christian Founding;
(All Teaching-Commentary from "INSPIRED-INERRANT!" View of Scripture!)
Perhaps the greatest error of Secular Academia, is misunderstanding, confusing and equating "Church-and-State" - with "Religion-and-Denomination",
Also misunderstanding, confusing and equating "Religion-and-Church" - and "Law-versus-Preference"
You'll be amazed at how CLEAR . . . this most confusing issue really is . . . when understood though the Founder's eyes!
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Below is an article by "STOP THE RELIGIOUS RIGHT!"
It shows how they interpret the History of the Founding of the USA. Their comments in black color, with comments by NewtonStein in Dark and regular blue color:
Paganism in Washington D.C.: Statutes to Structure;
Architect of the Capitol. You can see large images of the Apotheosis there.
THE CLASSICAL TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE AND PAGAN STATUARY OF WASHINGTON, DC
In 1792, Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Johnson placed of an advertisement announcing a Capitol architectural contest in a Philadelphia newspaper. The ad contained rules and requirements for size and numbers of rooms and such. The judges of the competition were George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Commissioners of the District of Colombia. The philosopher Jefferson, a classically educated man like many of the founders, saw in temple designs like the Temple of the Sun, the Parthenon and the Roman Pantheon a symbolism of democracy and philosophy resurrected.Jefferson, Washington and the committee thought that the new capitol building(s) should symbolize a Temple of Liberty in a secular sense. Entries were mostly Renaissance or Georgian, which is based on Palladian, a classical revival style of the renaissance. But the Graeco-Roman modeled entries were the most liked by the Washington, Jefferson, and the committee. The committee took the symbolic nature of the Capitol seriously. For the committee, the design must symbolize the functions and themes of the capitol. Here are some of the plans and drawings presented in the Library of Congress online exhibits:
According to the Library of Congress' online exhibit article on the conceiving and building of the Capitol Building, titled The Temple of Liberty, Thomas Jefferson was inspired by classical temple architecture for the pattern of the Capitol. A source of this was a print of the Pantheon in Claude-Antoine Jombert, 1779 book called "Les edifices antiques de Rome". The print, called Elevation de la face du Pantheon, a Rome was done by Antoine DesGodetz. Being classically educated and a son of the Enlightenment, this is not surprising. Jefferson was well read regarding classical philosophers and cited them many times in his letters. A print in Robert Wood's 1753 book, The Ruins of Palmyra impressed Jefferson for the Capitol's east portico design. (See also prints from Manhattan Rare Books site.) The print was Wood's conception of the Temple of the Sun (small image below), which is the temple of Bel, known also as Ba'al, the Sky and Sun God; the Father in the 'Trinity of the Sun God'. Iarbibol, with crown of sun, was the Messenger of the Sun, and Agribol was of the Moon. Woods made his print based on the archeological evidence suggesting what it looked like before it fell to ruins. Another source of inspiration to the people involved in planning the Capitol was Plate 22 in Volume I of the 1715 Vitruvius Britannicus. The print by Colen Campbell is called The First Design of the West Front of Wansted. This image is interesting because the drawing has Goddesses on the corners and peak of the roof, a common element of classical temples.
Robert Wood's Temple of the Sun at Palmyra and The First Design of the West Front of Wansted:
Elevation de la face du Pantheon:
The Roman Pantheon, with it's classical columns, portico and pediment, was the model for the Capitol's original dome and rotunda. Classical temples served as archetypical models for the buildings of Washington. Statues and sculpted friezes of mythological deities and allegorical figures became the models for Washington's national architecture and symbolism. Symbols of democracy and learning, strength and endurance, classical expressions suited the American Enlightenment. Classically educated, the founders in America saw themselves as re-lighting and carrying the torch of knowledge and wisdom that was extinguished in late antiquity. Rather than see the world as Paul, Augustine, or John Chrysostom did, they strove to interpret the world through the prism of Cicero, Gaius, Ulpinian, Cincinnatus, and Plutarch. In the minds of most of the founding fathers, the Roman Pantheon was considered one of the major classical symbols. Jefferson, Washington and the committee thought that the new capitol building should symbolize a Temple of Liberty in a secular sense. Entries were mostly Renaissance or Georgian, which is based on Palladian, a classical revival style of the renaissance.
Thomas Jefferson had a vision of education, science and wisdom that was expressed in classical architecture, the revival of the renaissance and best ideas of the enlightenment. America's capitol city was to be the new Rome and Athens because America was reviving the democratic and educational philosophies of the classical age. This aerial view of the Pantheon give us additional perspective regarding the classical origins of the Capitol's architecture.
Democratic ideas have their origins in ancient Greece. Both Solon and Lycurgus, ancient Greek lawgivers are represented in the medallions exhibit of the House chamber. Solon, father of Athens, is also with Moses and Confucius on the east pediment (over back portico) of the Supreme Court. Both are also on the frieze in the courtroom. In the Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress, there are sixteen Bronze statues representing Philosophy, Art, History, Commerce, Religion, Science, Law, and Poetry. One of the chosen figures representing Law in the Library of Congress is not Moses, but it is Solon of early Democratic Athens. Following Solon in further democratizing Athens were Cleisthenes and Pericles, who is known for the "Age of Pericles". It was Cleisthenes and Pericles that built the Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens. Greeks at that time even began to question the morality of slavery. Most of our national buildings have the architectural orders of classical Temples, not buildings that bring Christianity to mind. Neither do the scores of statues and friezes of pagan deities and classical mythic symbolism all over Washington, DC. Although there are representations of western legal currents, Judaism and Christianity are only a part of these representations.
Following Solon in further democratizing Athens were Cleisthenes and Pericles, who is known for "the age of Pericles". It was Cleisthenes and Pericles who built the Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens. Greeks at that time even began to question the morality of slavery in their tragedies and plays.
Most of our national buildings have the architectural orders of classical temples, not buildings that bring Christianity to mind. Neither do the scores of statues and friezes of pagan deities and classical mythic symbolism all over Washington, DC. But there are many representations of western legal currents in Washington's architecture nd statuary, Judaism and Christianity are parts of those representations. Islam's greatest lawgivers are represented in Washington, DC, too.
Thomas Jefferson marveled at the classical architecture in southern France. What caught his attention most was the classical temple, the Maison Carree in Nimes, France which was first built in 4 BCE, Under Jefferson's direction and the assistance of architect Charles-Louie Clerisseau, the Virginia State Capitol building was built in the image of the classical temple.
In this photo, it is fair to say the classical temple in Nimes served as the Jefferson's architectural model for the Virginia State Capitol Building. The Cornerstone was laid in August 18, 1785 and it was finished in October 1792. This was just a few months after the announcement for an architectural competition for the new national Capitol in Wshington, DC.
Thomas Jefferson began designing his home in Virginia as a young man of 26; a man steeped in the classics. As one can see, the dome, portico and pediment of Monticello, it incorporates Palladian expressions on architectural orders found in the Pantheon.
Jefferson, Washington and the committee thought that the new capitol building(s) should symboliZe a Temple of Liberty in a secular sense. Entries were mostly Renaissance or Georgian, which is based on Palladian, a classical revival style of the renaissance. But the Greco-Roman modeled entries were the most liked by the Washington, Jefferson, and the committee. The committee took the symbolic nature of the Capitol seriously. For the committee, the design must symbolize the functions and themes of the capitol. Here are some of the plans and drawings presented in the Library of Congress online exhibits: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Here are some models made from some of the plans of Latrobe's and Matthew Thornton's entries. When the competition was finished, Charles Bulfinch's design won. Later, as a gift of gratitude, the new American republic presented a watercolor by Charles Burton called the "West Front of the Capitol of the United States" to Lafayette during his visit in 1824. Above is the oldest known photograph of the Capitol, taken in 1846, showing the east entrance of the Capitol Building. This a larger version of the one below. Below is an 1848 photo of the west entrance at the Library of Congress exhibits site.
If there is any building in the United States that could be truly considered the Pantheon of the American Spirit, it would be the Jefferson Memorial. When the Jefferson Memorial was commissioned in 1938, the winning design was based on Jefferson's own classical and Enlightenment tastes. Here are some excerpts from the National Park Service's article on Jefferson and the Jefferson Memorial:
"The Thomas Jefferson Memorial, modeled after the Pantheon of Rome, is America's foremost memorial to our third president. As an original adaptation of Neoclassical architecture, it is a key landmark in the monumental core of Washington, DC The circular, colonnaded structure in the classic style was introduced to this country by Thomas Jefferson. Architect John Russell Pope used Jefferson's own architectural tastes in the design of the Memorial...His intention was to synthesize Jefferson's contribution as a statesman, architect, President, drafter of the Declaration of Independence, adviser of the Constitution and founder of the University of Virginia...In 1941, Rudolph Evans was commissioned to sculpt the statue of Thomas Jefferson. The statue of Jefferson looks out from the interior of the Memorial toward the White House. It was intended to represent the Age of Enlightenment and Jefferson as a philosopher and statesman."
The Thomas Jefferson Memorial Visitor Center has some thoughts to convey to us regarding the Jefferson Memorial building. Here are some excerpts:
"Thomas Jefferson-political philosopher, architect, musician, book collector, scientist, horticulturist, diplomat, inventor, and third President of the United States-looms large in any discussion of what Americans are as a people. Jefferson left to the future not only ideas but also a great body of practical achievements....With his strong beliefs in the rights of man and a government derived from the people, in freedom of religion and the separation between church and state, and in education available to all."
Compare these large images of the Jefferson Memorial and the Pantheon.
Misinformed conservative Christians make a lot of claims about the plaques in the Capitol building and the Supreme Court but they dont tell a factual and balanced story. Both buildings portray many of the currents that make up the evolution of western law and thought. They dont tell you that along with the Moses plaque are ones of the pagan Roman jurists Papinian and Gaius. In fact, these Ciceronians were contributors to the Justinian Code's Digest ("Pandects") which formed the backbone of European Law for centuries. There is also a plaque of Emperor Justinian, whose story is that of a despotic Christian emperor who ruled for five decades, He is also known for his direction of Tribonian, also in the House, who organized the large compilation and reorganization of Roman law. The Digest is mostly based on the works of Gaius, Papinian and Ulpian. The writings of Ulpian, a pioneer in human rights, make up 40% of the Digest. The Digest makes o mention of Christianity. Ulpian is considered one of the most influential jurists of all time. The House chamber also has medallions of Tribonian of the Jusinian Code, Lycurgus, Suleman the Great, Solon of Athens, Thomas Jefferson, Hammurabi, George Mason, Gregory the Ninth, Hugo Grotius, Innocent the Third, Jean Baptise Colbert, Louis the Ninth, Robert Joseph Pothier, Simon de Montfort, Sir William Blackstone, Napolean, and Maimonides. To see the rest, take a virtual tour of the House of Representatives Medallions online. All together they represent the diverse currents of western thought and none are meant to be represented as the sole influence.
As much as evangelicals like to think that there was an un- stream of Christian authority in government and law, the new motto on the Great Seal said declaed a new order for the ages, ending an oppressive age of church-state alliances, religious tests, and government promoted religion. The old order was based on the alliances of church and state. The older order is entrenched tradition born out of the dark ages which began as soon as classicism and religious diversity was thought to be wiped out. Among America's founding principles are those of religious tolerance and liberty, not Christian principles; of which there are none in the constitution). Only a religion-neutral state which protects and respects all religions equally under the law, while promoting none, is acceptable. The New Order banned religious tests and declarations (Article Six, Clause Three) as being irrelevant to public service and office holding and the New Order put a stop to government establishment and promotion of any religious belief.
The Nashville Parthenon. Impressive reconstructions of the Parthenon include the Parthenon at the British Museum, and the Nashville Parthenon (big image) in Tennessee. They are strikingly similar. It is from the Age of Pericles! we get our Supreme Court building.
The The US Supreme Court is clearly based on classical temple architecture. Although built long after the Framing, the architects were keenly aware of the symbols of the American Enlightenment and neo-classical revival. Comparing it with the architectural orders of buildings such as The Parthenon leaves no question as to its inspirational source. The expressions of diverse western intellectual and religious currents expressed in the Capitol are also seen in and on the Supreme Court building. Several Friezes, inside and out, portray an array of lawmakers and lawgivers from history, east and west, that contributed to the formation of western secular law. Over the east entrance is a frieze depicting three great eastern lawgivers, Solon, Confucius, and Moses sculpted by Herman MacNeil. In the courtroom, on the south wall is a frieze of eighteen famous lawgivers sculpted by Adolf Weinman. On the left of center, representing lawgivers before the current era are Menes, Hammurabi, Moses, Solomon, Lycurgus, Solon, Draco, Confucius, and Augustus. On the right of center, representing lawgivers of the current era are Justinian, Mohammed, Charlemagne, King John, St. Louis, Hugo Grotius, William Blackstone, John Marshall, and Napoleon.
Much is also made by evangelicals of the tablet behind the Bench. Firstly, it is one tablet, not two which has always been the customary symbolic portrayal of the commandments. For a long time, people thought that the one tablet represented ancient laws between the two allegorical figures of law and government but it turns out that this was not Weinman's intention. According to the Office of the Curator at the court,
"The East wall frieze is located directly above the Bench and focuses on two male figures that represent the Majesty of Law and the Power of Government. According to a letter from Weinman to Gilbert, the tablet between them symbolizes the first ten amendments to the Constitution, also known as the Bill of Rights. The allegorical figures standing on either side of the central figures symbolize Wisdom, on the left, and Justice, on the right. Weinman described the figures grouped to the right side as the Safeguard of the Liberties and Rights of the People in their pursuit of Happiness and those on the left side as The Defense of Human Rights and Protection of Innocence."
The Bill of Rights, not ancient laws nor the commandments which are always represented as two tablets. In no way is Moses shown to be more important than Solo and Confucius. With Moses having the usual two tablets and with Solon and Confucius each having one, it was the only place that Moses could sit based on artistic symmetry and aesthetics. If he was on the right or left it would look awful with Solon and Confucius having one. It would be way ouyt of balance. And since Solon and Confusius are never pictured anyway with two scrolls or tablets, they certainly can't be pictured that way. It artistic sense that places Moses in the middle. Moses is not in front of Solon or Confucius either. Because he is sitting, his knees are in front of him. In both the USSC and the Capitol, classical and non-Christian symbolism far outweighs the Christian features. The way the frieze is designed is to represent the many lawgivers as part of our legal heritage. Because Suleman the Great and Muhammad are represented in places doesn't mean the buildings in any way promote Islam any more than the building promotes Judeo-Christianity with representations of Moses and Justinian. Nothing about the Supreme Court building implies our laws are solely based on the commandments or Judeo-Christianity. With the founders of pagan democracy, Confucianism and Islam sharing the stage with Moses as historic lawgivers in human history, it simply doesn't support the religious right's claims that the Supreme Court somehow supports the notion of a legally Christian nation.
Europeans knew of the legend of the Greek Temple that was one of the Seven Wonders of the World but when crusaders arrived there in 1100, there was nothing but swamp and the harbor was no more. Little did the invaders know that the majestic temple written of by Pliny the Elder had been destroyed by invaders in 262. In 1863 British archeologists started digging in the marsh and they eventually unearthed the base of the temple. It measured 500 by 300 feet. According to Pliny the Elder, the temple measured 425 by 225 feet and had 127 columns that stood 60 feet. The Parthenon is 230 by 100 feet, with 58 columns, covering roughly one-quarter of the area of the Temple of Artemis. The Parthenon would fit neatly into one of Artemis' corners. Continuing digs over the years eventually found five temples built around and upon each other, the first dating to 800 BCE. A Temple of Artemis was also found on the Greek island of Corfu, summer home of the rich and now home to an archeological museum and a bustling tourist industry. This drawing is based on the find. Remarkably, most of the frieze on the pediment and frieze are intact. One of the Seven Wonders of the World was the Temple of Artemis in the old city of Ephesus. Artemis (Diana of Ephesus) was the Goddess of fertility. The traveler Philon of Byzantium wrote regarding the temple:
"I have seen the walls and Hanging Gardens of ancient Babylon, the statue of Olympian Zeus, the Colossus of Rhodes, the mighty work of the high Pyramids and the tomb of Mausolus. But when I saw the temple at Ephesus rising to the clouds, all these other wonders were put in the shade."
Over the centuries, many archeologists had dreams of excavating Mount Olympia. Not much happened as no team was able to get everything in order for such a monumental task. After decades of dreaming and organizing, the German archeologist, Ernst Curtius, funded by the German government began digging in 1875. By 1881, the area had been cleared. They found the ruins of the Temples of Zeus and of Hera. They also found a column and a statue of Nike. They also found the sculptures that had been on the east and west pediments. On the basis of what the archeological evidence suggests, here is an artistic rendering of the pediments of the temple. Curtius' findings led to the revival of the Olympic games which the Christian emperor Theodosius the Great had banned by decree in 395. Later, his son, Theodosius the Younger would issue a decree in 426 ordering the temple to be burned to the ground. In fact, thousands of shrines, altars, temples and groves were destroyed by Christians as they sought to wipe out religious diversity and every trace of competition with Christianity. A chronological list of the destructive violence wielded against Hellenes and their temples, summarized from Vlasis Rassias' book, Demolish Them, published in Greek (1994), can be found Here at the Supreme Council of Ethnikoi Hellenes website.
Also truly monumental is the Temple of Hephaestus, who was the God of smiths and craftsmen in Athens. The Temple of Hephaestus in the Agora was also a center for commerce because of his place with smiths and craftsmen. Strenghtening this argument is the Temple of Ceres, the Goddess of peace and agriculture. Well preserved and imposing is the Temple of Hera, Queen of the Olympian Goddesses and wife of Zeus. Although in Italy, Paestum was an ancient Greek town settled as "Poseidonia". The Greek Goddess Ceres was known as Demeter in Roman mythology and Hera was known as Juno, wife of Jupiter. It is therefore easy to see where the inspiration for the architectural orders of classical Roman buildings such as the Pantheon were derived from. And of course, the mythology was useful for symbolic representations of the spirit of America. America was resuming something that had roots centuries older than the Christian religion.
Bunker Hill Monument in Boston, the Theodosian Obelisk, and the Washington Monument in DC
Another ancient building design in Washington is the Egyptian Obelisk, a monumental style that debuted about 4400 years ago. Many have been moved from their original places. The Washington Monument is an Egyptian obelisk. Like the Bunker Hill Monument in Boston, Massachusetts, it is based on this ancient Egyptian design. Obelisks were usually built in pairs and placed in front of temples on the left and right. One example of an ancient obelisk is one of the Karnak Obelisks in Egypt near the Valley of the Kings. Another was in Alexandria. Around 3200 years ago, King Thutmose placed two obelisks in front of the Temple of Helios in Alexandria. Misnamed Cleopatra's Needle, one of these was given to New York City by Egypt in 1881. It is now in Central Park. Another famous Obelisk is the Theodosian Obelisk, removed by Theodosius from Egypt and placed in the court of the Hippodrome Stadium in Constantinople, now Istanbul, Turkey. The Hippodrome was the race track stadium that held tens of thousands of people.
Pagan Obelisks at the gravesites of Thomas Jefferson, George Washington and James Madison.
More Washington buildings with Classical Temple basics:
Constitutional Hall, National Archives Building, National Gallery of Art,
The White House, Lincoln Memorial, Treasury Building
THE US CONSTITUTION AS THE RETURN OF THE SATURNIAN AGE
In July of 1788, the City Gazette of Charleston ran an article called The Tenth Pillar which announced the ratification of the Constitution. It announced the return of the golden age of Saturn. In the article we can see ten pillars of classical orders holding up a roof. On the roof is Fame trumpeting the announcement. Fame is Pheme, Greek Goddess of fame and report, daughter to Earth Goddess Gaia.
At this point, there are still three states that haven't ratified the Constitution but the two-thirds majority has been reached. At this time, Fame has a job to do! It is now the time of proclamation of, as our Great Seal says in Latin, this new nation is a New Order For The Ages.
On August 2, 1789, the Massachusetts Centinel published an article titled Redeunt Saturnia Regna which heralded the return of the Saturnian Age as the eleventh pillar was raised under the Constitution. The SATURNIAN AGE had returned as far as these people are concerned. The Golden Era of Greece and Rome that was thought to be extirpated and extinguished by Christian religious and intellectual intolerance had returned. The article's illustration showed each state as an allegorically raised classical pillar which supports the Dome of the Constitution. There is a poem below it which speaks of eleven stars, eleven columns under a dome, the house that the Goddess Columbia built for Freedom, and Wisdom, Religion, Justice, Law and Peace in the return of the Saturnian Age.
The liberty movement in the United States, child of the European Enlightenment, was not only associated with classical architecture, but with the mythical symbolism of antiquity: the Goddesses, Gods, muses and genii. It is the Genus of Liberty that stands over the West entrance of the capitol. The United States, in it's revolutionary period, represented itself mostly with classical symbols. The most prominent Goddesses were Libertas, Minerva, Justicia, Victory, Ceres, and Clio. Libertas was the Roman Goddess of Liberty. Minerva of War was a Goddess of war and victory while Minerva of Peace represented learning, the arts and science. Minerva is Athena in the older Greek mythology. Justicia was the Roman version of Themis, the Goddess of Justice, with her sword and scales. Ceres stood for Peace. Clio was the Muse of History.
Even Hercules was suggested. According tom the LOC article, "Benjamin Franklin was responsible for suggesting the country's first emblem -- a native rattlesnake -- and its first personification -- Hercules". In 1784, Marquis de Barbi-Marbois painted this watercolor to suggest Hercules as a symbol for America. Not Jesus and not Moses as symbols of liberty and the strength of a new nation; he chose the the pagan Hercules, son of Zeus the Father of Gods, Jupiter. He called his painting Allegory of the American Union. In the image one can see the thirteen states represented as plaques on the bridge on which Hercules is standing.
This design for the Great Seal is part of the Jefferson papers. It is based on Eugene du Simitiere's "Design for the Great Seal of the United States", 1776. Looking at the seal, on the left is Libertas and on the right is a soldier with gear. The plaques are the thirteen colonies. Above the plaques is the "Great Eye", which is in the shape of top of the Great Pyramid. The seal design presented in the first committee replaced the soldier with Goddess Justitia holding sword and scales of justice. The eye of Providence, a deist concept, hovered over a plaque which represented six major nations of Europe from which immigrants to America came from. Underneath is Horace's E PLURIBIS UNUM; "One from many". On the obverse had Pharoah and the Israelites. The design was not accepted. Four years later, a second committee was formed. The seal presented to the second committee, designed by Francis Hopkinson showed, on the front, a large shield with thirteen diagonal red and white stripes. On the sides of the shield was a warror representing War and a classically attired figure representing Peace, holding an Olive Branch. This is typical of Goddess Ceres representations. With Mars is Ceres at the Capitol building. War and Peace. On the reverse side was seated Libertas with staff and liberty cap much like an old coin you will see below. Eventually, all that would remain of the original designs was the great eye over the Pyramid on the reverse side, suspiciously similar to the deistic masonic eye. The Eagle, strikingly similar to the Eagle symbol of Rome, would be placed on the front. Rome and Egypt. The deist's Providence.
One must also realize that this seal was conceived of when the states still had religious tests and the constitution hadnt even been thought of. Religious tests and government support of religion would then be banned. Enlightenment ideas would prevail. Only then would the new order really commence.
In 1788, James Trenchard published an engraving in Philadelphia's Columbian Magazine entitled Temple of Liberty. The engraving pictures a classical temple building with statues of Libertas, Justicia, (Themis) and Ceres on the top of the roof. Libertas is at the peak and the others are on the corners. In the background is a radiating and rising sun with a beam of light that reaches up to Libertas with her staff and freedom cap. Approaching from afar appears to be America as "Columbia" with an Eagle head dress on. Though a bit fuzzy, the figure resembles the statue that would eventually top the Capitol building in 1863. Standing below is Concordia with horn of plenty, a genius holding a scroll with CONSTITUTION written on it, and Clio, the Muse of History, writing in a book. Across the front of the classical temple are the words: "SACRED TO LIBERTY, JUSTICE AND PEACE". Libertas, Justicia and Ceres again.
Called The Goddess of Liberty with a Portrait of Thomas Jefferson this painting was done in 1807. The Goddess Libertas, with customary sunshine about her head and a freedom cap. To her right is the Eagle so much seen with the Goddess on Roman coins. A portrait of Washington is on the bottom of an pyramidal Egyptian obelisk. Once again, Minerva appears. She is at the lower right corner with her shield down as she pets a lion. In the upper left hand corner there apprears to be Ceres with her Horn of Plenty. Ceres is a Goddess who represents Peace and the Plenty of those times. In the upper right is fame once again trumpeting the good news of liberty in the land. The cupids are the genii of peace and of Gratitude. The same Genii are represented in a Frieze in the House of Representatives.
CLIO AND THE CAR OF HISTORY. Like Liberty and the Eagle, Clio overlooks the floor. The original ink and watercolor of Clio and the Car of History is part of the Library of Congress exhibit and was done by Benjamin Henry Latrobe in 1815. Latrobe was one of the architects in the Capitol competition. Jefferson's letters include many to him.
The Court of King Neptune, brother of Minerva, welcomes you to the Library of Congress!
Repeatedly we see America portrayed as the Roman Goddess Minerva. She is victorious in war and she represents wisdom and intellectual pursuits. There are scores of pagan Gods and Goddesses in government buildings but not one representatation of Jesus. In the revolutionary days of America, which coincided with the Enlightenment and a neoclassical revival, Christian themes or figures were not used in allegorical fashion to represent liberty or America. The American Enlightenment was a product of classical revivals, Renaissance humanism and the best ideas of the Enlightenment, not anything from the Bible. Christianity had been a big part of the problem throughout history regarding democracy and liberty. Only historical revisionists ignore or forget the intolerance of scripture and the violent history of Christianity.
In 1782, an engraving titled America Triumphant and Britannica in Distress was published in Boston. In it, America is represented as Minerva. She is sitting on a quarter of the globe. Minerva has made a claim. In one hand is an Olive branch inviting the ships of nations to partake in American commerce and in the other she is sporting the cap of Liberty. Above the harbor is Fame blowing his horn and "proclaiming the joyful news to the world".
In 1789 London, E. Newberry's "History of North America" was published. On the page opposite the title page was a print of Minerva as Civic Virtue being associated with Washington and Franklin. The print by W.D. Cooper is called America Trampling on Oppression. The title of the Library of Congress Exhibit is "Minerva, or Civic Virtue, Associated with Franklin and Washington"
Minerva and Victory are also represented in the high relef frieze on the pedestal of the 1883 statue of Justice John Marshall on the Capitol grounds. On the left hand side is Minerva dictating the Constitution. Not Moses or of Christian inspiration as evangelicals would prefer instead, aiding their claim that American Law is based on the Ten Commandments, which it is not. It is the victorious and wise pagan Goddess Minerva representing the spirit and symbolism of the new nation. It is the historical revisionists of the religious right that have lost touch with the American symbols that meant to portray America as the "New Rome", the return of the Saturnian Age, the beginning of a "New Order For The Ages". A Christian nation is nothing of the sort and represents the old order with the old problems of intolerance and tyranny. On the right hand side is the Goddess Victory leading America.
Minerva is all over the Library of Congress. At the entrance there are three large double doors made of Bronze, with allegorical reliefs, Tradition, Writing and Printing. According to the LOC site, they "represent how history, religion, literature and science have been preserved and disseminated by man". They were crafted by Frederick MacMonnies, Olin L. Warner and Herbert Adams.
At the outset of a tour of the Library, Minerva is represented. On the lunette above the door representing the Art of Printing, Minerva, Goddess of learning and wisdom is pictured in "Minerva Diffusing the Products of Typographical Art". On the that lunette is an Egyptian, a Jew, a Christian and a Greek, representing those who have influenced the world with writing. On the door representing Tradition are representatives of ancient tribal cultures who preserved their culture and history with rich and continuous oral traditions and myths.
In the Vestibule, which is the west corridor leading to the Great Hall, one sees eight pairs of the Goddess Minerva atop the piers. Each pair consists of a Minerva of Peace and a Minerva of War. The Minerva of Peace carries a Globe and a scroll, sybolizing the universality of knowledge. The Minerva of War carries a Falchion (a short Roman sword) and the Torch of Learning. Here is a closer look at one of the Minervas. The Minerva Mosaic - Lunette with Minerva - Winged Nike Statue
On the east side of the Great Hall is Elihu Vedder's Marble mosaic of the Minerva of Peace with her shield and helmet set down on the ground. She has put down her arms. On the bottom right, one can see a Winged Nike statue. On her left is one of her symbols, the Owl, signifying wisdom. Behind her is a beaming Sun, so often associated with Libertas and the Sun God Helios, known as Sol in Rome. In her left hand is a scroll that lists disciplines in science, education and art. Minerva is standing guard before the Main Reading Room. According to the Library of Congress, Minerva and her Owl are repeated throughout the Great Hall. In her right is a spear.
"MINERVA DIFFUSING THE PRODUCTS OF TYPOGRAPHICAL ART". On the lunette, Minerva as Goddess of learning and wisdom is pictured in Minerva Diffusing the Products of Typographical Art. On the Writing lunette is an Egyptian, a Jew, a Christian and a Greek, representing those who have influenced the world with writing. On the door representing Tradition are representatives of ancient tribal cultures who preserved their culture and history with rich and continuous oral traditions and myths.
At the bottom of the staircases at each side of the Great Hall is a Bronze woman in flowing classical wear, holding the Torch of Knowledge as the Minerva of Peace does. Being that Minerva is the Goddess of wisdom and learning, it is safe to say the women are based on the attributes of Minerva. In the center of the Marble floor of the Great Hall, with it's seventy five foot ceiling, is a Sun with compass bearings and the twelve ancient signs of the Zodiak.
APOLLO, MINERVA AND THE MUSES ON THE NINE MUSES SARCOPHAGUS (Marble, Roman, 3rd century). Ulysses is listening to the Sirens on the sides. Left to right are Polyhymnia, Euterpe, Thalia, Melpomene, Erato, Apollo, Minerva, Calliope, Terpsichore, Urania, and Clio. For a larger image go to the Hearst Castle page
Apollo and the Muses at the Library of Congress.
Apollo, the son of Zeus, was the guardian of the nine Muses, also daughters of Zeus. In the paintings of the Library of Congress Apollo represents light, literature, and knowledge; enlightenment. His half-sisters are also on hand in the library to represent the different aspects of literature and song, epic and lyric poetry.
Calliope was the head Muse of Epic Poetry among the nine Muses. Her symbols include a writing tablet, stylus, a lyre and a laurel crown. As the patron of epic poetry, she had a beautiful voice and was called "fair voiced". She stood for truth.
Clio was the Muse of History; the recorder and the proclaimer. Clio was the patron of historical and heroic poetry. Some of her symbols include an open scroll, a trumpet, and laurel crown. Erato was a muse of passionate love poetry. Her lyric poetry was all about love and eroticism. Her symbols include a qull, a Lyre and a garland of roses (or other flowers). Erato was also a muse of the arts of mimickry. Euterpe, or "giver of pleasure" was the muse of cheerful lyric poetry and music. She played the flute and the double flute. Polyhymnia was the muse of sacred poetry and hymn. Her name means "many hymns". Her symbols include a scepter, a musical note, long robes, with a pensive look. Like Erato, she is a muse of the arts of mimickry. Melpomene was a songstress and the muse of tragedy. The poetry of sorrow and grief. Her symbols included the tragedy mask of tragic theater.
Terpsichore was the rejoicing whirler, the muse of dance and fancy. Of choral singing, too. She was the one that danced and whirled about with her Lyre. Calliope, the head muse, was her sister. Urania was the muse of the stars. Of astronomy and astrology. Her symbols include a celestial globe and a compass. Thalia was the muse of comedy; of comic and pastoral poetry. She was the country girl of the muses, seen with a shepherd's crook sometimes. The flower-bringer. She was the festive comic. Her symbols include the comedy mask, the ivy garland and wildflowers. Thalia was also one of The Three Graces. Thalia's good cheer is joined by Euphrosyne's joy and Aglaia's splendor. Graces served Aphrodite and Eros and presided over festivals, dances and social celebrations.
But it is Apollo, Sun God of light, literature and wisdom, who protects the muses of music and poetry. Riding across the skies is Apollo guiding his chariot. Seen with what looks a lot like the Muses is a another painting of Apollo as Literature. Here are more classical figures represented in the Library of Congress:
_Lyric Poetry mural_ _Closer sketch of Lyric Poetry_ _Calliope, The head Muse of Lyric and Epic Poetry_ _Lyrica _ _Pompeiian panels of Fortitude and Justice_ _The Three Graces_ _Euphrosyne, one of The Three Graces, representing Splendor_ _Statue of Victory_ _Promethius, bringer of the knowledge of fire to humanity, warning of Pandora_ _A Frustrated Hercules Spinning a mess_
Athena, called Minerva in Rome, was the first Statue of American Liberty. In 1791, Giuseppe Ceracchi sculpted the first official Statue of Liberty for the new nation. Here is a larger version from the LOC exhibit. The statue was called Minerva as the Patroness of American Liberty. Minerva as the Statue of Liberty? Here is a water color of a giant statue of liberty by the architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe. He was one of the chief competitors in the Capitol competition. This was his proposal in 1811 for a Statue of Minerva as American Liberty to be built in front of the East entrance. Both are LOC exhibits. America's symbolic representatives Minerva, Justitia, Victoria, and Ceres.
While the goddess Minerva with a Freedom cap on her breast was the first official statue of Liberty, Libertas, goddess of freedom was on the face of our first coins. After the ratifications, this 1792 half-dime was the first official coin minted under the authority of the Constitution. The obverse is the Roman goddess Libertas with a legend that reads LIBERTY THE PARENT OF SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY. The reverse exhibited the Roman Eagle which was very popular on Roman coins. Liberty Eagles have made up the majority of US coins since. Like Roman coins Liberty is presented sitting, standing and as a bust on American coins
Themis was the Greek Goddess of Justice and one of the original Titans in Greek mythology. She was Justitia in Roman mythology. Nike was the winged Greek Goddess of Victory, the Romans called her Victoria. Some representations in more modern times have lack her 'wings of victory' but in most cases she still retains her lifted wreath in most places. Victory does so in the Peace Monument in Washington, DC (below). Demeter was the Greek Goddess of Peace and times of Plenty. In Rome, her name was Ceres. It can be said with some degree of accuracy that Rome conquered Greek lands but in many important ways, Greece's classical and Hellenist culture conquered Rome. It would be hard to find a courtroom in the United States without some representation of the Goddess Themis, Lady Justice. In both classical coins and statues we find combinations of these Goddesses. These combinations and overlapping of attriburtes was also common in antiquity. A familiar one is Athena holding Nike in her palm which in Rome was Minerva holding the Statue of Victory. A similar representation can be found at the US Supreme Court where there are large sculptures in front of the Supreme Court are the work of James Earle Fraser. On the left is a large female statue called Contemplation of Justice. On the right is a male statue, the Guardian or Authority of Law.
When walking up the steps into the building there are two marble candelabras on either side. On one base, depicting justice, is carved a traditional depiction of Justicia with her scales and a sword. On the other is carved the Three Fates, weaving the threads of life. Pagan symbolism again. There are also two flagpoles flanking the plaza with it's fountains and gardens. The bronze flagpole bases are crested with the sword and scales of Justice, the book, the mask, and a torch. The four elements; Air, Earth, Fire and Water are also represented on the bases.
The Roman Goddess Ceres represents Peace and the agricultural plenty of those times. Ceres is the Roman counterpart of the Greek Goddess Demeter. Decorating the East front portico are two statues, War and Peace. The one to the right of the Columbus doors is War. War is the Roman God Mars dressed as a Roman soldier. The Minerva of War is very similar to Mars in looks with shield, battle helmet and the short sword (the falchion) of close combat. In ancient times, epic greatness and meaning wasn't just for men. On the right of the door is Peace, represented by the Roman Goddess Ceres. (LOC exhibit: very large image). Like Ceres, the Roman Soldier theme is repeated in Washington. Center: Guarding the National Archive building is a soldier in full battle dress; falchion, shield, helmet and mail. Behind the Roman Guard is a burning torch, a symbol of knowledge and freedom. See Large image of Guard
WAR AND PEACE: Mars and Ceres at the Capitol.
GODDESS OF VICTORY
Then there is the beautiful Peace Monument on the Capitol grounds. At the top of the Peace Monument are figures of Grief and History. History is represented by Clio, the Muse of History. With her is Grief who is probably based on Melpomene, the Muse of Tragedy. Below we find Ceres as Peace again. On the other side is Victory, who is the Roman Goddess Victoria (Greek Goddess Nike). At Victory's feet are the infants Mars and King Neptune, the God of the sea. The monument was erected in 1877-1878 to commemorate naval deaths during the Civil War.
WASHINGTON AS ZEUS: SMITHSONIAN
Created in 1840 by Horatio Greenough, Washington appears as Zeus, complete with pose, classical robes and a battle sword, the falchion. On the pedestal are two reliefs of Zeus's favorite sons. On the right side is the baby Hercules, in his crib wih his twin, killing the snake that Zeus' wife Hera put in his crib. Most of Zeus' children were not Hera's (Roman Juno) On the left side of the statue's pedestal is Apollo, god of light and literature, guiding his chariots across the sky in the manner that the Sun god Helios does. To see a much larger image of Washington as Zeus, click here. This picture is from Vanderbilt's pages on 'America's Classical Traditions', a site worth visiting.
GODDESSES OF PEACE (CERES) AND FAME (PHEME) CROWNING WASHINGTON WITH LAUREL WREATH'S; West Portico of the Capitol Building.
See a larger image at the AOC.GOV webpage.
WASHINGTON PORTRAIT UNDER THE GOD JUPITER IN OLD SENATE CHAMBERS
By Rembrandt Peale, also known for handsome Jefferson portraits. Surrounding Washington are Oak leaves, which were sacred to Jupiter. The artwork is titled "Patriae Pater", or "Father of our Country". Jupiter also means "Father".
APOTHEOSIS OF WASHINGTON: THE CAPITOL DOME
This magnificent Fresco was done by Constantino Brumadi when the Capitol was being expanded. This is when the new cast Iron dome and the Statue of Freedom would be put atop the Dome.
Washington is seen here rising to heaven to become glorified (that is what apotheosis means) with the goddesses Liberty and Fame. Although the architect of the capitol says it is Victory/Fame I have never seen the goddess Victory with a trumpet. It is always the goddess 'Pheme' with her trumpet as the goddess we know as Fame. I am guessing Brumadi was painting Fame. Washington is surrounded by thirteen maidens representing the original states. Again we see a powerful expression of the female deities found in pagan religions. Christianity is patriarchal to the extreme. We see more classical and pagan imagery; nothing Judeo-Christian is used to represent Washington's apotheosis. We are the New Rome; the New Athens; not the New Jerusalem as the religous right claims. We are symbolized by what the Christians sought to wipe off the face of the Earth. Ironic.
Surrounding Washington, the goddesses and the maidens are six groups representing different aspects of the nation. All are represented with pagan gods and goddesses. WAR is an armed Goddess Freedom with her Eagle. SCIENCE is our goddess Minerva teaching invention to Benjamin Franklin, Robert Fulton, and Samuel morse. MARINE is Neptune with Venus holding the Transatlantic Cable. COMMERCE is Mercury (Hermes) handing a bag of money to Robert Morris, a major financier of the American Revolution. MECHANICS is the firey god Vulcan, working at the anvil, making a cannon and a steam engine. AGRICULTURE is our beautiful friend the goddess Ceres, who also represents Peace throughout Washington. With her is America in a red Liberty Cap, the Roman Pileus which freed slaves wore to mark them as free. Flora is picking flowers.
Below are Minerva as Science and Neptune as Marine. If you want to see the rest, go to the Apotheosis page at the website of the
So far in our tour of Washington, not one Judeo-Christian figure or symbol has been used to repesent the ideals of Liberty. Indeed, classical and pagan figures far outnumber Judeo-Christian ones, in general, throughout the government buildings.
MINERVA AS "SCIENCE"
NEPTUNE AS "MARINE"
George Washington Masonic Temple in Washington. Or is it the Lighthouse of Pharos? Not only is the George Washington Monument an Egyptian obelisk, his mausoleum has two obelisks, one at each side of the entrance.
CK TO THE CLASSICAL TEMPLE ARCHITECTURE OF WASHINGTON, DC
Emperor Claudius and Standing Libertas with Freedom Cap.The SC means the coin was struck by authority of the Senate. Libertas, Lady Liberty, the Roman Goddess of Individual Freedom was on many Roman coins. Rome had adopted the Greek Gods, but she made one of her own, a Goddess of Liberty. And Individual liberty at that. (A poster at Thomas Brewton's historical revisionism blog recently told me that individual freedom, dignity and respect were unheard of before the Gospel. That's plainly false. Rome's Libertas, the goddess of individual freedom predates Christianity by a couple of centuries. From the very beginning Rome's Lady Liberty was represented with a Pileus and a Staff. A Pileus is the cap worn by a freed slave that says, "I'm a free citizen of Rome". Like all the Goddesses on Roman coins, Libertas shared the attributes of other goddesses at times. Goddesses shared wardrobes. Libertas has also been portrayed with a sword, a sceptre, scales of justice, and sometimes a torch, signifying the light of kowledge and freedom. Rome adopted Athena and called her Minerva, Nike was called Victoria or Victory, and Demeter was called Ceres but it had no specific Greek Goddess of Freedom to adopt so it synthesized its own from the attributes of Minerva and others. Libertas was born from political issues and that is also why Americans chose her and the Eagle for their coins. With these first two coins the reverse is the Goddess Libertas with her staff and freedom cap. On Claudius' reverse the legend says LIBERTAS AUGUSTA. The title of Augusta denotes a woman with significant imperial power. Empress Pulcheria, regent of Emperor Theodosius the Younger and wife to Emperor Marcianus is an example. Minting coins with Libertas on Roman coins was a political statement by many who succeeded tyrants. American coins presented Libertas in much the same way.
Emperor Vitelius and Standing Libertas holding Freedom Cap and Staff: The reverse of Vitelius' coin says LIBERTAS RESTITUTA. I am restoring Liberty, Vitelius says. Some of the coins say LIBERTAS PUBLICA meaning Public Liberty; liberty for all. It was a social and political issue during the reign of many emperors. The new republic of the United States went beyond its Capitol city's architecture being full of classical themes; its coins adopted classical mythology and some of ts politics for its symbolism. Libertas was the obverse for the majority of American coins for quite a long time. Only when President's heads were added did that change. Like Roman on their coins, the Americans presented different versions of Liberty. Busts, standing, and seated. On the reverse so much of the time was the Eagle, also common on Roman and Greek coins. Many an American coin has Liberty on the obverse and the Eagle on the reverse. In fact, most coins have an Eagle.
Here is a coin from about 140 years prior to Paul's Epistles. On the obverse is the goddess Libertas with a Pileus to the left. The reverse features a chariot and a warrior with sword.
Here is another coin from around the same period as the coin above with goddess Libertas and a Pileus. Reverse shows Venus and Roma with Staffs. Roma has sword & foot on the Wolf's neck. The Wolf signifies tyranny. This is similar to some American themes which featured Minerva with her foot on a Lion's neck. The Lion represents the tyranny of Brittania
1776 Continental Dollar: The first coin authorized by the Continental Congress after the signing of the Declaration of Independance was the 1776 Continental Currency, called the Continental Dollar. Designed by Benjamin Franklin, America's first coin was a one of beautiful simplicity. There was a sort of monetary anarchy in the United States so the Congress decided that issuing the Continental Dollar would help unite the nation by bringing some kind of standardization to the monetary system. Every state had different currencies and none of the states assigned the same value to the Spanish Silver Dollar, an important currency in a hemisphere where most nations were Spanish speaking. The widely used Spanish Dollar was recognized and used by the businesses of the North American continent. It is where we get the term bit because the Spanish Dollar was also called Pieces of Eight. There was no consistency in American currency at this time. The coin had a small Sun which is shining rays onto the Sundial beneath it. Around the outside of the obverse is the statement, CONTINENTAL CURRENCY. Under the Sundial the legend reads MIND YOUR BUSINESS, not the IN GOD WE TRUST which was pushed by Christian fundamentalists after the Civil War. There is also the name FUGIO on the coin which is also found on the Congressionally authorized Fugio Cent of 1787. On the reverse side of the Continental Currency coin there are thirteen rings strung together the edge like links in a chain, signifying unending, unbreakable unity. The names of the thirteen states are ingraved on the thirteen rings. In the very center it says, horizontally, WE ARE ONE. Around those words is AMERICAN CONGRESS.
In 1783, Benjamin Franklin released his LIBERTAS AMERICANA commemorative coin. Conceived by Franklin, engraved by Frenchman Augustin Dupre, it was minted in Paris. The coin was a celebration of the victories of Saratoga and Yorkstown in 1777 and 1781, and the honoring of the French in their relationship with the United States. The French had a big hand in the mnilitary successes of the Americans. In a letter of March of 1782 to Robert Livingston, fellow committee member for drafting the Declaration of Independance, Franklin wrote: "This puts me in mind of a medal I have had a mind to strike, since the late great event you gave me an account of, representing the United States by the figure of an infant Hercules in his cradle, strangling the two serpents; and France by that of Minerva, sitting by as his nurse, with her spear and helmet, and her robe specked with a few fleurs de lys. The extinguishing of two entire armies in one war is what has rarely happened, and it gives a presage of the future force of our growing empire." On the obverse, the coin featured the Goddess Libertas with a freed Roman slave's liberty cap. It would appear that the reverse of the coin ended up with more of a role for Minerva because the first letter makes no mention of the British Lion. Personifying France is Minerva with her sword and shield who is defeating a Lion, the symbol of Britain. Below her is Hercules, representing the infant nation of the United States killing two snakes, meaning two armies. The Hercules story comes from Greek mythology when Zeus' wife Hera, tries to kill off Hercules with venomous snakes. Hercules was one of the twins born of Zeus to a human woman. This is the same story depicted on the pedestal of the 1840 statue of Washington as Zeus, which is now in the Smithsonian Museum. On the other side of the pedestal is Apollo, the Sun God, and also a product of Zeus and a human woman. Dieties and humans have been mating long before Christianity's virgin birth.
In 1783, a coin was minted with the capitalized legend NOVA CONSTELLATIO, which means New Constellation. When we hear that word constellation, the first thing that comes to mind is the stars but the stars aren't what is meant. America's intellectuals at this time are under the influence of, and with glad tidings abounding, the European enlightenment. And the Americans have outdone the Europeans at the 'enlightenment business'. Slower but surer and more careful with their revolution, the Americans gambled on the future with an idea. Filtered by the Atlantic, the best ideas of the enlightenment thrived in American intellectual and political circles in the second half of the eighteenth century. America would not have to worry about the Romanticists of France that turned the French enlightenment into a nightmare. In enlightenment America, where most were unchurched, even religion had respect with its enlightenment deism. Deism honored the Almighty, revered Providence, pretended no ear to the voices of the heavens, and rejected the tales and demands of traditional religions and their organizations as superstition and enslavement.
The American leaders were anything but evangelical as a majority. Only New England was hyper-religious and would fight to keep their state churches while joining the fight to be free of Britain. The founding Americans who were truly Republican in the classical sense crafted a new order that is aptly declared as Nova Constellatio. A new constellation of ideas founding a new order of government. A new configuration. A new order. Nova Constellatio was the first motto and phrase in declaring a New Order for the Ages that the Constitution certainly was. The obverse of the coin featured what appears to be the Egyptian Eye of Providence at the center, radiating rays outward like the Sun, and thirteen stars equidistant from the center. Its similarity with the Egyptian Eye can't be missed. On the reverse was a wreath a the words in capitals, LIBERTAS and JUSTITIA, the Roman names of the Goddesses of Liberty and Justice. The wreath has always been a common element depicted with Goddesses. Oak leaves are sacred to Zeus//Jupiter. Wreaths or branches are very common in Roman coins. Roman Eagles as well as American Eagles usually have a branch. With Roman coins even a thunderbolt shows up, representing the power and authority of Zeus.
Shown in this Gold coin, in 1785, the Nova Constellatio's reverse changed to the American name of the Goddess of Liberty, Columbia. Columbia is on a pedestal and is balancing the scales of justice in her left hand. In her right hand is a staff bearing an American Flag with a Freedom Cap at the top. The coin was called IMMUNIS COLUMBIA. America's classically educated intellectuals were under the influence of the European enlightenment. And the Americans out-did the Europeans at the enlightenment business of liberty, diversity, and humanism. Slower but surer the Americans gambled on the future with new ideas for the future of governmewnt organization and of the liberties of man. Filtered by the Atlantic, the best ideas of the enlightenment thrived in American intellectual and political circles in the second half of the eighteenth century. America would not have to worry about the anti-enlightenment reactionaries and tyrants of France that turned the French Enlightenment into a bloody nightmare. Between the rights of man, influenced by Paine and Jefferson, to the Guillotine, the French Enlightenment abandoned enlightenment principles for revenge by a totalitarian regime. In enlightenment North America, where most were unchurched, religion had respect with its enlightenment deism. Deism honored the Almighty, revered Providence, pretended no ear to the voices of the heavens, and rejected the tales and demands of traditional religions and their organizations as superstition and coercion. The Americans were anything but evangelical as a majority. Only New England was deeply conservative about church and state alliances and would fight to keep their state churches while also joining the fight to be free of Britain. That matter would have to wait until the early 19th century when Massachusetts and then Connecticut finally banned their state church establishments.
In 1787, the obverse of Immunis Columbia changed from the Eye of Providence to the Goddess of Liberty sitting upon a Globe while holding scales, staff, cap and flag. This is almost the same Liberty found on the reverse of the 1785 coin. The difference with Liberty on this coin is that Liberty is now sitting on a Globe of the world instead of a pedestal.
The reverse became the first heraldic Eagle on American coinage. Like many Roman coins, the Eagle is clutching the Olive Branch of Peace in one claw and arrows in the other. The arrows are similar in theme to the Roman Eagle with a thunderbolt. As far as I can tell, the 1787 Immunis Columbia is the first coin of the United Sates to have the Goddess Liberty on the obverse and a Heraldic Roman Eagle on the reverse. It was the beginning of a long trend of Americans emulating Roman coins.
Also in 1787, the American Congress authorized the issue of the FUGIO CENT, generally known as the Franklin Cent because the coin is very similar to the Continental Dollar of 1776. It has a much larger Sun and Rays beating down on a much larger Sundial. The MIND YOUR BUSINESS motto is also much larger, being situated under the pedestal of the Sundial at the bottom of the obverse. On the reverse of the Fugio Cent we again see the interlocked rings signifying the unity of the states. In the center of the reverse side is the same statement found in the Continental Dollar, WE ARE ONE. Instead of saying American Congress around the center, it says UNITED STATES or the reverse. Like the Nova Constellatio, the Fugio Cent had several variations. On one coin it had the Eye of Providence as is found on the Nova Constellatio. Most Fugios did not have the names of the states inscribed on the rings.
Another 1787 coin, the Excelsior Cent, was issued first in the state of New York and then in surrounding states. It is believed to have been coined by John Bailey, the partner of the famous Goldsmith, Ephraim Brasher. Questions remain as to who minted the coin because the petition to the State of New York had both of their names on it. Since 1778, the State Motto had been EXCELSIOR meaning ever upward. On the obverse of the Excelsior Cent there was a shield in with a Sun is rising over three mountains and a sea before it. Above the shield is an Eagle perched on a globe. On the left of the shield is the Goddess of Liberty. Here we see goddess Libertas with her staff and a Roman free slave's Freedom Cap on top. On the right of the shield is a blindfolded Goddess of Justice with her balanced scales and her sword of justice. The legend underneath says EXCELSIOR. On the reverse is the date and a Heraldic Eagle and its shield, clutching an Olive Branch of Peace and a group of arrows. Around the outside is written E PLURIBUS UNUM, meaning One From Many which is the same message as the Continental Dollar and Fugio Cent declares, WE ARE ONE.
New York, along with Virginia, were truly tuned into the Enlightenment thought and the neo-Classical revivial of the times. They were not beholden to the old order and made that quite clear. Article 35 of New York's Constitution of 1777 made some real headway towards the creation of the new legal framework for a new society. NY was the first state to disestablish their state churches and cut ties from England's traditions. Both ended religious tests before the rest of the states. In Article 35, the NY constitution makes clear that revolutionary era New Yorkers are doing away with "all such parts of the said common law, and all such of the said statutes and acts aforesaid, or parts thereof, as may be construed to establish or maintain any particular denomination of Christians or their ministers, or concern the allegiance heretofore yielded to, and the supremacy, sovereignty, government, or prerogatives claimed or exercised by, the King of Great Britain and his predecessors, over the colony of New York and its inhabitants, or are repugnant to this constitution, be, and they hereby are, abrogated and rejected." Echoing some of Jefferson's sentiments, Article 38 stated, "whereas we are required, by the benevolent principles of the rational liberty, not only to expel civil tyranny, but also to guard against that spiritual oppression and intolerance wherewith the bigotry and ambition of weak and wicked priests and princes have scourged mankind.." The Constitution of 1777 also replaced the term Creator with Nature's God, an Enlightenment term denoting deism and natural religion. Thomas Jefferson, clearly not a Christian in the conventional sense, used the same terms in much the same way.
Another version of this coin presents a bust of George Clinton in place of the Eagle but the goddesses of Liberty and Justice are kept. Clinton was Governor of New York and eventually became Jefferson's Vice President in his second term.
In the same year, Ephraim Brasher minted America's first Gold Doubloon. On the reverse (shown), there is an Eagle holding a branch in one and arrows in the other. Around the edge, like the Excelsior Cent, is written E PLURIBUS UNUM. Around the same time, a coin with a politician's head appeared as an Excelsior Cent. This was rare at this time of anti-Monarchal sentiments. It featured George Clinton on the obverse. The scene with Libertas, Justitia and the Eagle on the Globe is on the reverse with this coin. The positions of Liberty and Justice are reversed on this coin. Justitia, with her Sword and Scales of Justice is on the left and Libertas with her Staff and Freedom Cap is on the right. On the obverse (not show) we see a similar scenario found in the shield of the Excelsior Cent. From over the seas, we see a Sun with rays spreading forth, rising over hills or mountains. A new day has come. The Sun's rays upon a Sundial expresses the same message. Around the edge of the obverse it reads NOVA EBORACA COLOMBIA EXCELSIOR. Nova Eboraca means New York. Columbia is the Americanization of Libertas.
The first official coins of the United States were dated in 1792. It was a half-dime that had the Roman Goddess of Liberty on the obverse and an Eagle on the back. The inscription around the head reads: LIBERTY PARENT OF SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY. Again, not In God we Trust which did not appear on our coins for another century and was not law until the 1950s. This law was due to radical Christian elements doing their best to claim the USA is legally a Christian nation or make it one, anyway. By law, it is not. By heritage, it has strong Christian currents.
Shown here is a 1793 Libertas Half Cent. See how similar the obverse is to Franklin's Commemorative Libertas-Americana coin of 1783? This was a major American coin theme. It is clear that the designers wanted that particular look of the goddess Libertas with a prominent Pileus, the Roman symbol of personal freedom. The reverse presents with a classical wreath.
These next coins show us the initial evolution of Libertas and the Eagle after the ratification. But Justitia and Libertas were there since 1783. Busts of Libertas with Eagles dominated most coins for a long time in the USA. The exceptions were Half-cents and cents, on which, until the Lincoln Monument (another pagan temple!) replaced it, a wreath of leaves encircled the reverse. (When you won an event in the ancient Olympics, you were crowned with a wreath.) We called the last of these wreath coins, the Wheat Penny. Below the 1795 Gold Half Eagle, are coins from the reign of Commodus and Galba. Like the American coin, the Heraldic Eagle holds a wreath in its beak, as if to announce victory.
1795 Gold Half Eagle: Liberty wearing Freedom Cap Eagle presenting wreath. In 1836, a new expression of Libertas o the obverse was presented. It was the Seated Libertas. Seated Liberty lasted for eighty years until the Standing Liberties beginning in 1917. St. Gaudens' 1907 Standing Liberty set that ball rolling. Most Roman coins with Libertas had her standing, but there were seated Liberties, too. Seated Goddesses were common on the reverse of Roman coins. The emperor was on the front and a Goddess or two or an Eagle was on the reverse. Those were the most common combinations on Roman coins. There was seated and standing Victoria (Nike). There was seated and standing Justitia (Themis). There were versions of Ceres, Concordia, Fortuna, Providencia and many more.
1797-1804: $20 Liberty Eagle. Liberty wears a Roman freedom cap. Reverse is beautiful Heraldic Eagle with shield and stars resembling first Seal of the United States
Emperor Commodus with Heraldic Eagle presenting Wreath of Victory
Emperor and Heraldic Eagle presenting wreath
Emperor Septimius with Heraldic Eagle presenting Wreath
Emperor Caracalla and Heraldic Eagle
Egypt in the Roman Empire: Ptolemy and Heraldic Eagle gripping the Thunderbolt of Zeus/Jupiter
Heraldic Eagle of Roman Egypt with Thunderbolt
Ancient Greece: Athena and the Owl of Wisdom. Rome adopted Athena as Minerva. Throughout the Library of Congress, there are many representations of Athena/Minerva with the Owl of Wisdom. The first official American Statue of Liberty was Minerva with a Freedom Cap on her breastplate. It was called Minerva as the Patroness of Liberty. (Library of Congess image)
Legionary Eagle between Roman military standards
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"IF" there exists any such thing as 'The Word of God'; [and ALL evidence proves such does exist:]
"THEN" by inherent definition - it must be: Thus 'GOD'S WORD' can have no lesser standard than stated above; "GOD'S WORD MUST" THEREFORE BE:
As true in history, archeology, geography, Earth science, medical science, nutrition, gerontology, agriculture, botany, astronomy, physics, chemistry, climatology, government, law, psychology, sociology - and every subject it touches - as in Theology, Divinity and Doctrine:
And "IF IT BE NOT" - true in all subjects mentioned above; and And "IF IT BE NOT"
Holy, Inspired, Inerrant, Intrepid, Infallible, Infinitive, Invincible, Indestructible, Inexhaustible, Inalienable, Immutable, Implacable, Impossible-to-Improve: Eternal and Indubitable in EVERY FIELD OF KNOWLEDGE: Whatever else it may be, it cannot be ‘The Incomparable Word’ of the Great Creator God!
God's Eternal Guarantee!
"Heaven and Earth Shall Pass Away; But GOD'S WORDS Shall NOT Pass Away!" (Matthew 5:18)
--Jesus the Messiah, AD-33
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