Talk:Utopia (book)

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Map of Utopia[edit]

I am a student from Magway division Myanmar.

Question [Homoproteus, 21st Jan. 2008]: Why is the text re Book II citing Goodey's conclusion from "Mapping Utopia" that More's description is a geometric impossibility?

I.) This is not pertinant to the original text of More's Utopia, it is immaterial if it is or isn't possible.

II.) Goodey's conclusion is wrong anyway. The circle whose circumference the text describes, is the inner circle of the crescent (which the two tapering arms curve around to form), not the outer circle defining the island's outer boundary with the sea. i.e. The circle which is 500 miles in circumference is the great Lagoon. The original book was illustrated by Martini, not Holbein, and Martini's illustration illustrates quite clearly both the great lagoon, and the fortified rock in its entrance. More's descriptions are too precise to be dismissed offhand by someone who has clearly misread the text.


"More was not aware that the work would be published, nor did he himself publish it. His good friend Erasmus had it published for him after reading it."

This line appears near the end of the article, but seems questionable based on the edition of Utopia that I have to hand (Cambridge revised edition of 2002). First the editor of this edition has the following footnote mentioning letters of More, on pg 6 of the book:

"although More's letters express considerable anxiety about the reception of Utopia, the claim that he is ambivalent about publishing it would seem to be largely conventional. In a letter of c. 20 September 1516 he told Erasmus (who saw the book through the press), 'I am most amxious to have it published soon', and on 15 December he confided that 'from day to day I look forward to my Utopia with the feelings of a mother waiting for her son to return from abroad' (Selected Letters pp 76, 87)."

Second though this may be original research and thus should not be used in the article itself, it's worth noting while considering the question that the preface contains all the rhetorical markers which would be expected from a Renaissance work intended for publication, and it's quite unlikely that More would have written such a preface for a work that he was not aware would be published. Comparing More's preface to the prefaces of other Renaissance authors of carefully prepared texts (Castiglione/book of the courtier is one who I have specifically in mind) the rhetorical markers that the work was intended for circulation should be fairly obvious (including the one mentioned above - the rhetorical claim in the preface that the author is ambivalent about publishing). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:27, 27 October 2008 (UTC)


Is the correct spelling of the city Amaurot or Amaurote? Both seem to be in use. Which was used in the original latin? Drutt (talk) 19:03, 16 August 2009 (UTC)

In Latin it's amauroton, meaning 'made dark or dim' (in another letter to Giles, he calls the city 'a phantom'). The Cambridge edition uses Amaurot, I'm not sure about others... Yohan euan o4 (talk) 12:51, 12 September 2009 (UTC)

Sir Saint?[edit]

Identifying the author as "Sir Saint Thomas More" is ridiculous. It should be either "Sir Thomas More" or "Saint Thomas More." If he absolutely must be given both titles simultaneously, "Saint Sir Thomas More" would be preferable, since he was a Sir before he was a Saint.

Since Utopia is primarily a political as opposed to a religious work, calling him "Sir Thomas More" would make more sense. Also, he actually was Sir Thomas More when he wrote it; he did not become Saint Thomas More until over 400 years later. But since he is identified in the original Latin edition of the book itself simply as "Thomas Morus"—with no title at all—he should be identified here as simply "Thomas More."

I'm going to remove "Sir Saint." If someone feels compelled to restore it, please make it "Saint Sir," not "Sir Saint." "Sir Saint" makes him sound like a mascot or a cartoon character. --Jim10701 (talk) 06:07, 26 September 2009 (UTC)


Planet-worshippers is linked to Chthonic? This is not correct. (talk) 15:58, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

Possibly useful external link[edit]

Possibly useful external link; I'll let someone else be the judge of whether it should be added at this time.

The Open Utopia, a project by Stephen Duncombe of NYU, providing multiple versions of the text, wiki-based annotation, etc. Might be premature to add - it's in its infancy - but probably at least worth keeping an eye on for whether it becomes substantive. - Jmabel | Talk 00:21, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

Article is lacking[edit]

This article is lacking when compared to other Utopia topics which is odd as this is the original.Smallman12q (talk) 02:27, 7 September 2011 (UTC)

Hi fiction?[edit]

The introductory paragraph describes the book as "hi fiction", but what is meant by that? Tweisbach (talk) 01:37, 2 October 2012 (UTC)

Notes section[edit]

note #2 links to a blog on phonetics but doesn't link to any specific blog post, just the main page (most recent post).

i found two different posts when searching for utopia.

number 1.

and number 2, which is an update on the the earlier post.

i can't determine which is the most relevant to link to. maybe both combine to form one consistent piece relevant to referenced section of the article.

i'm not super familiar with the terminology around phonetics and pronunciation, and the International Phonetic Alphabet is something i've never managed to master.. so i am at a loss.

can someone with a background in linguistics un-muddy this? ≈Sensorsweep (talk) 19:26, 5 June 2013 (UTC)

Skinner and Greenblatt consistent?[edit]

This looks like a well-meaning transition sentence: "Quentin Skinner's interpretation of Utopia is consistent with the speculation that Stephen Greenblatt made in The Swerve: How the World Became Modern." However, it looks doubtful to me. Does Greenblatt ever say that Skinner's analysis is consistent with his? I ask because the Epicureans are pretty explicit that communal life should not include the abolition of private property (on this they opposed the Pythagoreans). So it would be surprising (and risable) for an author writing about Epicurus or Lucretius or whomever to say, "Oh yeah, the abolition of private property that Skinner talks about? That's consistent with Epicureanism." It looks to me like the person who wrote this thought this would make a good transition sentence, even though it turns out to assert something that's pretty doubtful in my view. But I would have to know more about the cite to Greenblatt's book, which I have not read. (talk) 13:44, 21 July 2014 (UTC)

Let me add that a Google Books search for "Skinner" in Greenblatt's book only includes a single acknowledgment on page (talk) 13:50, 21 July 2014 (UTC)