Areopagitica is a 1644 polemical essay by the poet John Milton arguing for freedom of the press. Written early in the English Civil War, at a moment when Parliament had broken the authority of Charles I's controls on publishing, it was unsuccessful in dissuading the dominant Presbyterian faction from instituting its own censorship. It nevertheless became a formative influence on later arguments for freedom of speech in the liberal tradition.
Free online texts
Dartmouth College: Areopagitica. HTML format.
Gutenberg: Areopagitica. HTML, EPUB, Kindle and TXT formats.
Internet Archive. English Minor Poems, Paradise Lost, Samson Agonistes, Areopagitica. Britannica Great Books edition. EPUB, TXT, MOBI and PDF formats.
Internet Archive. Areopagitica. Clarendon (1894) with notes by John W. Hales. EPUB, TXT, MOBI and PDF formats.
Internet Archive: Essays Civil and Moral and The New Atlantis by Francis Bacon, Areopagitica and Tractate on Education by John Milton and Religio Medici by Thomas Brown. Harvard Classics, Vol 3. EPUB, TXT, MOBI and PDF formats.
University of Adelaide: Areopagitica. PDF, EPUB, TXT and Kindle formats.
The Great Conversation: Further reading at Tom's Learning Notes
Euripides: The Suppliants - quoted at the start of the text.
Isocrates: Areopagitikos - the inspiration for the title of Milton's work.
John Aubrey: Brief Lives - includes a life of Milton.
Harold Bloom's Western Canon: includes the Areopagitica.