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Latin Root: Liberi

by Sarah

Dear Latin Teacher,

Does liberi, meaning children, stem from same Latin root as "liberty", as one might suspect?

Thanks, Sarah

Dear Sarah,

The Roman word for children, liberi, means literally the free ones, as opposed to the slaves, i.e. servi.

So yes, the two words liberi and libertas have the same root meaning.

Hope this helps and thanks for asking a Latin teacher.



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whether liber
by: Harry

But the crucial question is the root for "liber," book.

Hi Harry,

In Latin, book is liber, librī while free is līber, lībera, līberum.

Notice the long vowel (-ī-) in the word for freedom. This root gives us the English liberty, liberal, etc.

The short vowel (-i-) in the word for book gives us the English library.

The two roots are not related, to my knowledge.



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