A fulfilled vow to Liber Pater

In 1944, along with other finds, the construction works at Poço de Cortes wielded another votive inscription, this time to Liber Pater. It reads: …ATRI LIBERO SACRVM G.R.T. AVO V.A.L.S., which Vieira da Silva interprets as “Sacred to Liber Pater, Grateful for the benefit received (?), Tito (?) Avo fulfilled his vow willingly and freely” (1944, 270; n. 144-F).

It is not certain if this and the other inscriptions from Poço de Cortes were found in their original context. Certainly there are no news of a temple and a grove would have left little or no archaeological trace. However, the fact that funerary monuments and inscriptions were also found in the area and surrounding places (more on that in the next post) may indicate the existence of an ancient road or a junction point of several pathways, which would be a normal setting for tombs and ex-vota, as they could be seen and/or given offerings by travellers.

A Roman road is known to have existed between Olisipo and Scallabis (modern-day Santarém) and the discovery of a milestone in excavations at the House of Spikes (pink square on the map), in downtown Lisbon, may indicate the starting point of that pathway. The road would have followed more or less by the river, passing through modern-day Terreiro do Trigo (Wheat Square) and Santa Apolónia train station before bending inwards and following the Road of Chelas (Guardado da Silva 2008, 47-8), which is next to Poço de Cortes. Assuming it was found close to its original location, the ex-voto could therefore be standing by that same road or a branch of it.


2 thoughts on “A fulfilled vow to Liber Pater

  1. Olá Hélio!
    Quanto á inscrição ATRI LIBERO SACRVM G.R.T. AVO V.A.L.S tens a transcrição em latim? Penso que o VALS será “Voto Animo Libens Solvit” certo? mas o G.R.(T) penso que nunca tinha visto nenhum exemplo.

    • VALS é “Voto Animo Libens Solvit”, sim. Pelo menos é essa a interpretação habitual e faz sentido. Quanto a G.R.T., acho que nem o próprio Vieira da Silva tem ideia do que será e daí o oferecer uma tradução com pontos de interrogação.

      A transcrição que eu cito e interpretação que ele faz está na página 270 da «Epigrafia de Lisboa» (lápide número 144-F).

      Se souberes de alguma fonte mais recente e com outra tradução, agradeço.

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