Freedom, Grace and Necessity

"Freedom, Grace and Necessity." Freedom and the Human Person, edited by Richard Velkley. Studies in Philosophy and the History of Philosophy, Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2007. Reprinted in The Archaeology of the Soul, 2012.


Before the start of the Isthmian games at Corinth in 196 B.C., a Roman herald proclaimed that with the conquest of philop of Macedon all the cities of Greece and Asia Minor were to be free, exempt from tribute, and under their own laws. The crowd was so astonisht hat they demanded that the Heral repeat his message. “Not only was there happines at the moment,” Livy goes on to say, “but for many days it was freely renewed in thoughts and speeches: ‘there was a people on earth that at their own expense and by through own effort waged war for the freedom of others, and they bestowed this not on a neighboring people or one on adjoining lands, but they crossed the sea so that there not be anywhere on earth an unjust empire, but instead law and right, both sacred and profane, be most powerful everywhere. The single voice of a herald had liberated all the cities in Greece and Asia: It was characteristic of a bold spirit to conceive of such a hope, it was the work of immense virtue and mighty fortune to carry it into effect.'” Fifty years later a Roman general sacked Corinth and Greece became a province of the Roman effort.