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Greek Guide to Greatness – Episode 3: Free Speech

Freedom of speech has always been controversial. Today, we debate how far our politicians’ rants can go; how intellectually safe our university students need to feel; how disruptive our protests can get. Greeks were just as conflicted about what we call an “unalienable right.” Athenians were so proud of their freedoms that they even named some of their ships after them. But they didn’t always live up to their ideals. The great philosopher Socrates was put to death — supposedly for corrupting the youth, and spreading a false religion … but really for exercising the same rights Athens claimed to give all citizens. Some view his execution as the end of the classical age, where ancient Greece reached its apex. Are we in similar danger of decline — by giving up on one of our most cherished ideals?


The National Hellenic Society is an association of visionary Greek American leaders dedicated to celebrating, preserving, and promoting Greece’ s rich heritage with an emphasis on the next generation. The organization’s innovative programs are designed to engage, and inspire its members, families, and communities.

National Geographic and the National Hellenic Society have produced a companion digital series, The Greek Guide to Greatness, that’s available on the PBS and National Geographic websites in addition to below.



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