Importance Of Athenian Freedom

1725 Words 7 Pages
Freedom, is supposed to be the basis upon which the United States of America was founded, a nation in which all beliefs and views are considered in equal measure to each other. Yet are US citizens truly free? According to the ancient Greek city-state Athens, freedom was the privilege of being civically engaged in lawmaking and everyday governance of the community. Athenian citizens would scoff at the idea that freedom is the ability to pursue happiness and pleasures, because to them those pursuits were lazy and could be accomplished by mere slaves and or non-citizens and therefore were trivial in nature. Personally, I agree with the notion that freedom is more than the right to pursue happiness; for in order for there to be an obtainable goal …show more content…
Being born into potion of a citizen had it’s perks such as the freedom to be a part of the polis, the political body governing Athens, and the most sought after aspect of citizenship. The goal of an actor of the polis was to sustained and insure the prosperity of the city-state as a whole, thusly ensuring the freedom of all its citizens. At their core, Athenians believed civic duty to be of the utmost importance, it was to have the responsibility and or ability to affect others or at least seem to, that the Athenians believed was the purpose of life and lesueur itself (Rhea, p. 272). Their society was built upon the premises trades were menial tasks, tasks that they could do in their sleep, and that rigor was needed in life and could be obtained only through challenges in the …show more content…
68). In his article Rahe writes “the visible polis...rested on an invisible and politically inarticulate body of slaves condemned to labor...so that their masters might...devote time...to speech and action in public,” showing that slaves and underlings/non-citizens were lesser than citizens because they could not take part in the engaging challenges with in public matters or the stage of oratory (Rahe, p. 271). To many within polis these mind challenges were part of an ideal world in which “the desire to be at leisure for political action,” was how the citizens lived above those who toiled in the dirt (Rahe, p. 272). However, it is important to note that there were other’s who saw the assembly and the polis as a whole as a puppet show and wished to exploit it through means of oratory a way to provide themselves with power and a sense of freedom over others. Though these were a few members of the citizenship of Athens it is just as important to remind ourselves that even with a system in which power is equally distributed within its ranks there will always be those who will find a way to exploit it. That being said in either case without those challenges, of being a member of the polis and or participating in oratory, the citizens of the

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