What I learned today is a new series on Clanmother.com. The idea came out of these past months of living during the Covid19 pandemic. Our travel plans were curtailed and our movements were limited to the local area. As I was lamenting the circumstances that had befallen the world, my husband (aka techie) Don challenged me with these words: “When we stand still, the world will come to us.”
One the greatest gifts of travel is knowledge. Today, I travelled back to November 23, 1644 to meet up with Mr. John Milton. It seems that virtual travel has no limitations of location and time. Jet lag does not exist in the virtual world.
John Milton of Paradise Lost (1667) fame, was an English poet, writer, scholar and intellectual who was a civil servant for the Commonwealth of England under its Council of State and later under Oliver Cromwell. Paradise Lost is considered one of the greatest works of literature ever written. It is still on my ever growing “to be read” stack of books.
What I did not know was that John Milton wrote Areopagitica, a impassioned philosophical defence of the principle of a right to freedom of speech and expression. Given that 1644 was a time of great change and upheaval within the religious and political arena, the timing was right. He presented his insights in a speech to the Parliament of England on this very day in 1644.
Areopagitica continues to influence us today. Many of the expressed principles of freedom of speech and expression form the basis for the modern world of 2020.