By Zubair Ahmad Mir
Srinagar, 24 Nov : Liberty has a history which shows that it varies with time and place. The ancient Greeks would divide themselves among ‘free’, and ‘unfree’, citizens ‘and non citizens, a vast majority of the population in a city-state comprised the latter.
Liberity was understood as active citizenship in ancient Greek society. The ancient Rome prized liberity (together with its cognate, freedom) as a collective good,betokening both freedom from foreign domination and the absence of internal oppression.Liberity was in the writing of the early thinkers, connected with civic self-rule.
Christianity continued the doctrine of the freedom of will,allowing people to choose between good an evil entertaining the possibility of freely renouncing self-help in favour of embracing God’s law.
Medieval Europe added a legal dimension to liberity. Under the terms of feudal law, the person designated to hold a prerogative or privilege (such as a ability to exercise forms of justice or to collect certain types of revenue ) was said to possess “a liberity” Feudal liberity,in the sense, was an exclusive, independent, and non-usurpable right to the application of power over people and property, granted under fixed conditions from a superior who was deemed to be its ultimate source and guarantor.
In short, liberity reflected a sphere of authority within which no one can could directly intercede or interfere with the exercise of specified right. Yet it was not wholly private. The possessor of liberty could protect it from erosion by appeal feo assistance to the lord who granted it.