In the instruction of the First Degree, it is said that "our ancient Brethren worshiped deity under the name of Fides or Fidelity, which was sometimes represented by two right hands joined, and some times by two human figures holding each other by the right hands." The deity here referred to was the goddess Fides, to whom Numa first erected temples, and whose priests were covered by a white veil as a symbol of the purity which should characterize Fidelity. No victims were slain on her altars, and no offerings made to her except flowers, wine, and incense. Her statues were represented clothed in a white mantle, with a key in her hand and a dog at her feet. The virtue of Fidelity is, however, frequently symbolized in ancient medals by a heart in the open hand, but more usually by two right hands clasped.
Horace calls her Incorrupta Fides, and makes her the sister of Justice; while Cicero says that which is religion toward God and piety toward our parents is fidelity toward our fellow-men. There was among the Romans another deity called Fidius, who presided over oaths and contracts, a very usual form of imprecation or oath being Me dius fidius adjured that is, so help me the God Fidius. Noel (Dictionary of Fables) says that there was an ancient marble at Rome consecrated to the god Fidius, on which was depicted two figures clasping each other's hands as the representatives of Honor and Truth, without which there can be no fidelity nor truth among men. Freemasonry, borrowing its ideals from the ancient poets, also makes the right hand the symbol of Fidelity.
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