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Evdokimov Case

To the Editors:

On July 22, 1982 authorities in Leningrad arrested Rostislav Evdokimov, a thirty-two-year-old classical scholar and son of the dissident historian Boris Evdokimov. Rostislav Evdokimov has published a poignant account of his father’s nine-year imprisonment in a mental institution (Novoye Russkoye Slovo, November 23, 1979). The Soviet authorities are now claiming that the son suffers from “schizophrenia inherited from the father.”

Despite a perfect academic record, Rostislav Evdokimov was expelled from Leningrad University in connection with his father’s arrest; expulsion was followed by persistent official harrassment. He has, nevertheless, managed to pursue his scholarly career. An article by him, “State Officials in the Ideal State of Plato’s Laws,” appeared in a volume published by the Soviet Academy of Sciences, Platon i ego epocha (Plato and his Epoch: Moscow, 1979): given the tight rein of censorship in the Soviet Union, this publication can be seen as a grudging admission of Evdokimov’s scholarly accomplishments.

Boris Evdokimov was set free only after public opinion in the West was marshalled on his behalf. During his years of incarceration he was denied proper medical treatment for cancer and died almost immediately following his release. Now the son has lost his freedom and his well-being is in extreme jeapordy. We, his colleagues in classical studies, ask for his immediate release and permission for him to emigrate.

Victor Bers (Yale University), Ernst Badian (Harvard University), Anne Burnett (University of Chicago), Diskin Clay (Johns Hopkins University), Thomas Cole (Yale University), W.R. Connor (Princeton University), Thomas F. Gould (Yale University), Morgens H. Hansen (Copenhagen), C.J. Herington (Yale University), Christopher Jones (University of Toronto), Donald Kagan (Yale University), Charles H. Kahn (University of Pennsylvania), Gregory Nagy (Harvard University), Martin Ostwald (Swarthmore; University of Pennsylvania), Lionel Pearson (Stanford University), John Peradotto (SUNY, Buffalo), Anthony J. Podlecki (British Columbia), Thomas G. Rosenmeyer (University of California, Berkeley), Ihor Sevcenko (Harvard University), Friedrich Solmsen (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), Gordon W. Williams (Yale University), and thirty others.

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