Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Eleutheria (ἐλευθερία, pronounced [elefθe'ria]) is an ancient and modern Greek term for, and personification of, liberty. Eleutheria personified had a brief career on coins of Alexandria.

I.F. Stone, who taught himself Greek in his old age, wrote a book, The Trial of Socrates, pointing out that Socrates and Plato do not value 'eleutheria', freedom, instead were Sparta-lovers, wanting a monarch, an oligarchy, instead of a democracy, a republic. Michel Foucault, in lectures given at Berkeley and Boulder, made the same argument for Socrates' failure to invoke 'parrhesia', freedom of speech, the obligation to speak the truth for the common good at personal risk, in his own defense at his trial, preferring to die in obedience to law as above men. Athenians held that they democratically shaped law, seeing Socrates' stance as treason.

In Ancient Greece, Eleutheria was also an epithet for the goddess Artemis, and as such she was worshipped in Myra of Lycia.