The ancient Greeks were pioneers of free speech. Their theater, literature, and educational institutions explored the human experience, freedom of expression, and questioning of authority.

Like contemporary societies, however, ancient Greece did not allow complete freedom of speech. Leaders, philosophers, artists, and everyday citizens wrestled with balancing individual freedom and public order.

ancient Greece

loosely united civilization founded on and around the Peloponnese peninsula, lasting from about the 8th century BCE to about 200 BCE.


system of organization or government where the people decide policies or elect representatives to do so.

First Amendment

(1791) update to the U.S. Constitution prohibiting government from interfering with freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and freedom to petition the government.

freedom of speech

right to express one’s opinions freely, without fear of censorship or social sanction


series of questions or an investigation into an event.