The word "parrhesia" [παρρησία] appears for the first time in Greek literature in Euripides [c.484-407 BC], and occurs throughout the ancient Greek world of letters from the end of the Fifth Century BC. But it can also still be found in the patristic texts written at the end of the Fourth and during the Fifth Century AD -dozens of times, for instance, in Jean Chrisostome [AD 345-407] .
There are three forms of the word : the nominal form " parrhesia " ; the verb form "parrhesiazomai" [παρρησιάζομαι]; and there is also the word "parrhesiastes"[παρρησιαστής] --which is not very frequent and cannot be found in the Classical texts. Rather, you find it only in the Greco-Roman period -in Plutarch and Lucian, for example. In a dialogue of Lucian, " The Dead Come to Life, or The Fisherman ", one of the characters also has the name " Parrhesiades "."[Παρρησιαδής]
"Parrhesia" is ordinarily translated into English by "free speech" (in French by "franc-parler", and in German by "Freimüthigkeit"). "Parrhesiazomai" or “parrhesiazesthai” is to use parrhesia, and the parrhesiastes is the one who uses parrhesia, i.e., is the one who speaks the truth.
In the first part of today's seminar, I would like to give a general aperçu about the meaning of the word "parrhesia", and the evolution of this meaning through Greek and Roman culture.