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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Ethiopian root of Thomas More's 'Utopia'
Author:Debele, Meskerem L.
Year:2016
Periodical:International Journal of African Renaissance Studies (ISSN 1753-7274)
Volume:11
Issue:1
Pages:22-33
Language:English
Geographic terms:Ethiopia
Great Britain
Subjects:novels
Christianity
literary criticism
About person:Thomas More (1478-1535)ISNI
Link:https://doi.org/10.1080/18186874.2016.1212461
Abstract:The classical utopian novels of early-modern Europe, such as 'Utopia', 'Christianopolis' and 'City of the sun', are widely understood in mainstream academics as products of the writers' inventive imaginations of better social organisations. Suggestions regarding the possibility that places with the social and administrative features depicted in the novels might actually have existed in medieval times, are often dismissed by Western scholars who argue that the role of non-European civilisations in the early-modern proliferation of utopian novels did not go beyond helping to inspire the writers' creative mix of narrations. A disregard for the fact that medieval utopian novels could be modified and/or de-identified versions of earlier reports about 12th- and 13th-century Ethiopians ('the Land of Prester John') has severely distorted the mainstream understanding of utopianism and renaissance by African scholars. This article specifically focuses on More's 'Utopia', to assert its Ethiopian root using historical and religious evidence. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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