Queen Liberty: The Concept of Freedom in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth


Queen Liberty traces the history of an idea that lay at the foundation of political thought in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and at the same time a certain political myth that formed a core element of Polish noble culture. Anna Grześkowiak-Krwawicz seeks to trace the evolution of the ideal of “golden liberty” from the state’s creation in the sixteenth century through to the distinctive degeneration of the idea and attempts at resuscitating it in the eighteenth century. She highlights what was different or even odd about the Polish concepts, as well as how they dovetailed into the broader European tradition stretching back to antiquity. This book broadens the European perspective of scholarship on the Republican tradition and presents the fascinating political thought of the ‘Republic of the Two Nations’.  
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Biographical Note

Anna Grześkowiak-Krwawicz, Ph.D. (1986) Polish Academy of Sciences, Institute of History, is professor at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies “Artes Liberales” of Warsaw University, and head of the Enlightenment Literature Department, Institute of Literary Research, Polish Academy of Sciences. She is the author of monographs, source editions and many articles, a number of them dealing with political ideas and discourse in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Table of contents

Introduction 1. The Polish Szlachta and Their State 2. Golden Liberty– a noble privilege or universal idea? 3. The pillars of freedom 4. Freedom in peril 5. What was wrong with Polish liberty? 6. From defending liberty – to fighting for liberty Author profiles Bibliography Index


Historians of ideas and political thought, also all interested in history of East-Central Europe and anyone interested in early modern republicanism.