Areopagitica

Title

Areopagitica

Subject

Freedom of the press -- Early works to 1800
Law, Politics & Government
Human Rights

Description

One of the most influential works on the defense of free speech and free expression. Milton wrote this work in response to Parliament's 1643 Ordinance for the Regulating of Printing, or the Licensing Order of 1643. This order required authors to acquire a license approved by the government before their works could be published, allowing Parliament to regulate all published materials and perpetuating the censorship of written works by further allowing the government to seize and destroy books deemed offensive as well as arrest writers, printers, and publishers for producing offensive material.

Areopagitica Milton argues that authors should be held responsible for their work, but just because something is deemed offensive does not mean that it should be censored. He also argues readers should have the agency to determine the appropriateness of what they read for themselves.

Aeropagitica has been used to explain the First Amendment rights in several Supreme Court cases, including the landmark New York Times Co. v. Sullivan.

Stored in the Watkinson Library.
Extremely delicate.

Creator

Milton, John

Publisher

Bloomsbury, London, 1869

Date

1644

Format

Book, physical
Book, electroinc

Language

English

Files

Areopagitica.pdf

Citation

Milton, John, “Areopagitica,” Trinity College Library, accessed July 28, 2021, https://tclibrary.omeka.net/items/show/258.