Is there a Greek god/goddess of freedom?

  • according to Wikipedia, Ananke is

    the personification of inevitability, compulsion and necessity. She is often depicted holding a spindle. One of the Greek primodorial deities, Ananke marks the beginning of the cosmos along with her father and consort, Chronos, the personification of time. She is also the mother of the Fates.

    Is there a Greek god/goddess/deity of freedom. Or is freedom a peculiarly modern Western concept that has no purchase on the ancient Greek imagination and so no personification of such?

    If so, what is the closest approximation?

    Great question. I'd say that the Western concept of freedom arises from Ancient Greece! *(See my answer)*

  • DukeZhou

    DukeZhou Correct answer

    4 years ago

    Freedom is definitely an important concept in Ancient Greece, which is reflected in the status of independent city-states throughout it's early history (prior to Athenian hegemony, Alexander, Roman Empire, etc.) The word democracy is based on the Greek δημοκρατία (dēmokratía) "rule by the people". This freedom was, of course, qualified, and only extended fully to landowners.

    See: ἐλευθερία, ἐλευθ-ερία, ἐλευθ-έρια (festival)

    The name is said to be an epithet of Artemis, who was quite free in the sense that she was the goddess of the wilderness, and never subject to a husband's rule. Similarly, Eleutheria has been linked to Aphrodite, also quite unrestrainable.

    Libertas is the Roman equivalent, and was the inspiration for Lady Liberty.

    Eleuthereus is also an epithet of Dionysus, as the one who "sets free" Pausanias, Description of Greece 1.38.8, referring to his ecstatic rites.

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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM

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