John Milton, English poet

John Milton, English poet

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Caption: John Milton (1608-1674). 1869 illustration of the English poet and political writer John Milton. Milton is best known as the author of the celebrated epic poems 'Paradise Lost' and 'Paradise Regained'. A republican, in the 'Areopagitica' he advocated a free press. Milton lived in a critical period of astronomical progress where the discoveries of Galileo and Kepler challenged the Ptolemaic system with the heliocentric Copernican cosmology. He had a comprehensive knowledge of contemporary astronomy and had visited the old and blind Galileo in Florence. Though he selected the Ptolemaic cosmology as the scientific basis upon which he constructed his 'Paradise Lost', there are many passages that suggest he appreciated and accepted the Copernican system.

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