The Discovery of Freedom in Ancient Greece

Overview

Although there is constant conflict over its meanings and limits, political freedom itself is considered a fundamental and universal value throughout the modern world. For most of human history, however, this was not the case. In this book, Kurt Raaflaub asks the essential question: when, why, and under what circumstances did the concept of freedom originate?

To find out, Raaflaub analyses ancient Greek texts from Homer to Thucydides in their social and political contexts. ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (9) from $49.90   
  • New (6) from $49.90   
  • Used (3) from $51.75   
Sending request ...

Overview

Although there is constant conflict over its meanings and limits, political freedom itself is considered a fundamental and universal value throughout the modern world. For most of human history, however, this was not the case. In this book, Kurt Raaflaub asks the essential question: when, why, and under what circumstances did the concept of freedom originate?

To find out, Raaflaub analyses ancient Greek texts from Homer to Thucydides in their social and political contexts. Archaic Greece, he concludes, had little use for the idea of political freedom; the concept arose instead during the great confrontation between Greeks and Persians in the early fifth century BCE. Raaflaub then examines the relationship of freedom with other concepts, such as equality, citizenship, and law, and pursues subsequent uses of the idea—often, paradoxically, as a tool of domination, propaganda, and ideology.

Raaflaub's book thus illuminates both the history of ancient Greek society and the evolution of one of humankind's most important values, and will be of great interest to anyone who wants to understand the conceptual fabric that still shapes our world views.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226701011
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2004
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 427
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Kurt Raaflaub is a professor of classics and history at Brown University. He is author and editor of numerous books, including Social Struggles in Archaic Rome; Between Republic and Empire; Democracy, Empire, and the Arts in Fifth-Century Athens; and War and Society in the Ancient and Medieval Worlds.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Preface
1 Introduction 1
1.1 Objectives and State of Research 1
1.2 History of Concepts: Approaches and Methodology 5
1.3 Evidence: Value and Limitations 9
1.4 A "Greek" Concept of Freedom? 13
1.5 Plurality of Statuses and the Value of Freedom 14
1.6 Thematic and Chronological Limits 17
1.7 Doulos and Eleutheros in Greek Bronze Age Society 19
2 Awareness of Freedom in Archaic Greek Society 23
2.1 Eleutheros and Doulos in the Archaic Period 23
2.2 The Limited Value of Freedom in Early Greek Society 29
2.3 Political Awareness of Freedom: Beginnings in Solonian Athens 45
3 The Emergence of the Political Concepts of Freedom 58
3.1 Polis Independence and the Persian Wars 58
3.2 Tyranny and the Citizen's Freedom in the Polis 89
3.3 Reflections in the Religious Sphere: The Cult of Zeus Eleutherios 102
4 The Concept of Freedom after the Persian Wars: Its Meaning and Differentiation in Interstate Relations 118
4.1 Contemporary Expectations and the Rise of the Athenian Empire 118
4.2 Freedom and Servitude of a Polis: Terminology and Definitions 128
4.3 Emergence and Meaning of the Concept of Autonomia 147
4.4 Polis Freedom: A Concept of Relative Value 160
5 "Freedom" in Ideology and Propaganda 166
5.1 Athens: Freedom Justifies Domination 166
5.2 The Athenian Concept of Absolute Freedom 181
5.3 Sparta's Freedom Propaganda 193
6 Meaning and Function of Freedom within the Polis 203
6.1 Freedom and Democracy 203
6.2 Freedom in Democracy and in Oligarchy 225
6.3 Conclusions 247
7 Summary and Final Considerations 250
7.1 Summary 250
7.2 Characteristics of the Greek Concept of Freedom 265
Abbreviations 279
Notes 283
Bibliography 357
Index of Terms 407
Index of Selected Ancient Sources 411
General Index 413
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)