The word first occurs in Sir Thomas More's Utopia, which was originally published in Latin under the title De Optimo Reipublicae Statu, deque Nova Insula Utopia (Louvain, 1516).
Few of these survived after the exploration of the Atlantic by Columbus, Vasco da Gama and others in the 15th century; but in literature More's Utopia set a new fashion.
It was translated into the chief languages of Europe, and into English by Ralph Robinson as A fruteful and Pleasaunt Worke of the best State of a Publyque Weale, and of the newe Yle called Utopia (Abraham Nell, 1551); modern editions are by J.
If so, no Utopia has ever yet been presented in a style so little calculated to stir the imagination, to warm the feelings, to soothe the insurgency of the reason.
The idea of putting forward political and philosophical principles under the fiction of an ideal state was doubtless taken from Plato's Republic. The Utopia in turn suggested the literary form adopted by Bacon, Hobbes, Filmer, and other later writers; and the name of the book has passed into the language as signifying optimistic but impracticable ideals of reform.
The idea of a Utopia is, even in literature, far older than More's romance; it appears in the Timaeus of Plato and is fully developed in his Republic. The idealized description of Sparta in Plutarch's life of Lycurgus belongs to the same class of literary Utopias, though it professes to be historical.
Scholars, like Colet, read the New Testament in Greek and lectured on justification by faith before they knew of Luther, and More included among the institutions of Utopia a rather more liberal and enlightened religion than that which he observed around him.
Wells's Anticipations (1901), A Modern Utopia (1905) and New Worlds for Old (1908).
Brady peeled his face mask off and lowered the muzzle of his weapon, unnerved by the unrealistic utopia after the three-day battle up the side of the mountain.