February 7, 2005 9:24 AM Subscribe
Freedom's Not Just Another Word
(NYT). The Sumerian "ama-ar-gi," found on tablets in the ruins of the city-state of Lagash, which flourished four millenniums ago, derived from the verb "ama-gi," which literally meant "going home to mother." The Latin libertas and Greek eleutheria both indicated a condition of independence, unlike a slave. Freedom, however, comes from the same root as friend, an Indo-European word that meant "dear" or "beloved." It meant a connection to other free people by bonds of kinship or affection, also unlike a slave. Liberty and freedom both meant "unlike a slave." But liberty meant privileges of independence; freedom referred to rights of belonging.
posted by semmi (27 comments total)