Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Cap of Liberty.

 Cap of Fools (The).Cap of Maintenance. 
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
Cap of Liberty.
When a slave was manumitted by the Romans, a small red cloth cap, called pil’ëus, was placed on his head. As soon as this was done, he was termed liberti’nus (a freedman), and his name was registered in the \??\ tribes. When Saturni’nus, in 263, possessed himself of the capitol, he hoisted a cap on the top of his spear, to indicate that all slaves who joined his standard should be free. When Ma’rius incited the slaves to take up arms against Sylla, he employed the same symbol; and when Cæsar was murdered, the conspirators marched forth in a body, with a cap elevated on a spear, in token of liberty (See LIBERTY.)   1

 Cap of Fools (The).Cap of Maintenance. 


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