Utopia

Title

The title De optimo rei publicae statu deque nova insula Utopia literally translates, "Of a republic's best state and of the new island Utopia".

It is variously rendered as any of the following:

De optimo rei publicæ deque nova insula Utopia Standard English Translations
On the Best State of a Republic and on the New Island of Utopia
Concerning the Highest State of the Republic and the New Island Utopia
On the Best State of a Commonwealth and on the New Island of Utopia
Concerning the Best Condition of the Commonwealth and the New Island of Utopia
On the Best Kind of a Republic and About the New Island of Utopia
About the Best State of a Commonwealth and the New Island of Utopia

The original name was even longer: Libellus vere aureus, nec minus salutaris quam festivus, de optimo rei publicae statu deque nova insula Utopia. This translates, "A truly golden little book, no less beneficial than entertaining, of a republic's best state and of the new island Utopia".

"Utopia" is derived from the Greek prefix "ou-" (οὐ), meaning "not", and topos (τόπος), "place", with the suffix -iā (-ία) that is typical of toponyms; hence the name literally means "nowhere", emphasizing its fictionality. In early modern English, Utopia was spelled "Utopie", which is today rendered Utopy in some editions.[3]

In English, Utopia is pronounced exactly as Eutopia (the latter word, in Greek Εὐτοπία [Eutopiā], meaning “good place,” contains the prefix εὐ- [eu-], "good", with which the οὐ of Utopia has come to be confused in the English pronunciation).[4] This is something that More himself addresses in an addendum to his book Wherfore not Utopie, but rather rightely my name is Eutopie, a place of felicitie.[5]


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