This work is the comprehensive 2 volume work on censorship, not only by the Catholics but also by the Protestants.
Anaxagoras was “the first freethinker historically known to have been legally prosecuted and condemned for his freethought; and it was in the Athens of Pericles, despite Pericles’ protection, that the attack was made.” (Robertson) •When he was told that the Athenians had condemned him to death he said “Nature has long since condemned both them and me,” (Durant)
This first attack on freethinkers has continued from that time forward to the present day. Socrates was killed, Aristotle fled, and Protagoras’ books were burned. Putnam, in offering a “schedule of the more representative and important of the prohibitions of the early Church” notes that “the action of the bishops of Asia Minor appears to be the first recorded instance of [Christian] ecclesiastical censorship of a work classified as heretical or at least as not authentic.”
Even the Bible was censored: •“As it is manifest, by experience, that if the use of the holy writers is permitted in the vulgar tongue, more evil than profit will arise because of the temerity of man; it is for this reason all Bibles are prohibited with all their parts, whether they be printed or written, in whatever vulgar language soever; as also are prohibited all summaries or abridgments of Bibles, or any books of the holy writings, although they should only be historical, and that in whatever tongue they may be written.” (Disraeli)
On the publication of Bayle’s Dictionary in the early 1700’s it was condemned. “In this curious proclamation, which has been preserved as a literary curiosity, Bayle’s “Critique” is declared to be defamatory and calumnious, abounding with seditious forgeries, pernicious to all good subjects, and therefore is condemned to be torn to pieces and burnt at the Place de Greve.” and it continues … “All printers and booksellers are forbidden to print, or to sell, the said abominable book, under pain of death; and all other persons, of what quality or condition soever, are to undergo the penalty of exemplary punishment.” (Disraeli).