In 1644, as Cromwell's Civil War was raging in England, the celebrated poet John Milton published his Areopagitica, a polemical tract arguing for the freedom of speech and an unlicensed press.
The essay's title, “Areopagitica,” was derived from the name of a speech written by the ancient Greek orator Isocrates, Areopagitikos.
Addressed to the Parliament of England, the Areopagitica draws on a number of classical and biblical sources to support Milton's cause for the freedom of the press. One of the most obvious examples that the author uses is that of the Areopagus, a judicial council which, in ancient times, had investigated corruption in Athens.
In modern times, the Areopagitica is principally appreciated as a cornerstone in the argument for the freedom of speech.
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