At this time the youths laid aside the boy's toga praetexta and assumed the man's toga libera or virilis (Fasti, iii.
Severe, therefore, as were the viking raids in Europe, and great as was the suffering they inflicted - on account of which a special prayer, A furore Normannorum libera nos, was inserted in some of the litanies of the West - if they had been pirates and nothing more their place in history would be an insignificant one.
His name indicated the free, unrestrained character of his worship. When, at an early period, the Hellenic religion of Demeter spread to Rome, Liber and Libera were identified with Dionysus and Persephone, and associated with another Italian goddess Ceres, who was identified with Demeter.
There was, indeed, plentiful need for some show of concession to Libera sentiment, if a union of hearts was to be established between the South and North Germans.
During the last Punic War it gave assistance to the Romans; after the fall of Carthage in 146 it received an accession of territory and the title of civitas libera (Appian, Punica, xciv.; C.I.L.