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The Polish Nobility's "Golden Freedom": On the Ancient Roots of a Political Idea

Filonik, Jakub

This essay traces the Greek and Roman roots of Polish sixteenth- to eighteenth-century political thought by discussing the Polish nobility's concept of the "Golden Freedom" (L. aurea libertas). By focusing on the Roman and the Greek concepts of liberty and the mixed constitution, it argues that the Golden Freedom, a notion central to the Polish-Lithuanian nobility's self-identification, was based on Roman political ideals and practices that were incompatible with the political reality of the Commonwealth.

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