Bob Cowan (Classics and Ancient History) writes on Horace, free speech and WikiLeaks on the OUPblog

Dr Bob Cowan from SOPHI’s Department of Classics and Ancient History has written a post for the OUPblog entitled “Horace and free speech in the age of WikiLeaks” to coincide with the publication of a new translation by John Davie of Horace’s Satires and Epistles (Oxford World’s Classics), which he has edited and annotated. He discusses parallels between the decision of the Roman poet Horace to restrain his own freedom of speech in the aftermath of Rome’s civil wars with contemporary debates arising from WikiLeaks and burnings of the Qur’an.

In the age of WikiLeaks, the freedom to disseminate information and its corollary, the freedom to know what those in power have said or done in secret, have found ever more vigorous proponents, but also those who ask whether it has its limits. … By writing satire that rejected freedom of speech, Horace may have been acknowledging its limits in a world shattered by civil war, but he was also lamenting its loss.

Click here to read the full post on the OUPblog.

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