Fantastic Voyages

Thomas More: Utopia

UtopiaUtopia by Thomas More inaugurated a new literary genre on its first publication in Latin at Louvain, Belgium in 1516. It's title, from a Greek term meaning 'nowhere', has become the established term for any imaginary, ideal Commonwealth.

More's Utopia took inspiration from the voyages of discovery of his own day, being ostensibly the account of Raphael Hythloday, a traveller with Amerigo Vespucci. In book 1, Hythloday and More discuss the role of the philosopher in civic life, touching on many of the ills of contemporary Europe. In book 2 before Hythloday introduces his account of the idealised society he encountered on the island of Utopia in book 2. The Utopian system of common property contrasts sharply with the enclosures then underway in contemporary England, and the sharpness of the book's satire may have contributed to its publication on the continent, under the editorship of Erasmus.

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Free online texts

Bartleby: Utopia - Harvard Classics, Vol. 36, Part 3. HTML format.

Gutenberg: Utopia. Multiple formats. 

Internet Archive: Utopia, Robinson translation and Latin text (1895). Multiple formats. Utopia. 1901 Cassell & Co. edition. HTML format.

Online Library of Liberty: Ideal Empires and Republics. Rousseau’s Social Contract, More’s Utopia, Bacon’s New Atlantis, Campanella’s City of the Sun, with an Introduction by Charles M. Andrews (1901). Multiple formats.

Open Utopia - 2016 translation, including letters, commendations and marginalia, with Creative Commons license. Multiple formats.

University of Adelaide: Utopia. Multiple formats.

Wikisource: Latin text and English translation by Gilbert Burnet (1901). HTML format.

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Lucian: True History

 Dreams, for "Lucian's True History", by Aubrey Vincent Beardsley.The True History (Greek: Ἀληθῆ διηγήματα, Alēthē diēgēmata; Latin: Vera Historia) by Lucian (c.115-c80 CE) is a parody of traveller's tales which features journeys to the moon, and to the Isles of the Blest. It influenced a later genre of fantasic voyages to which works by authors such as Rabelais and Swift could be ascribed, and has been called the first work of science fiction.

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Free online texts

The Classics pages: Lucian - Greek science fiction. HTML format.

Gutenberg: Lucian's True History, translated by Francis Hickes. Multiple formats.

Internet Archive: Lucian's True History, translated by Francis Hickes (1902). Multiple formats. See also 1894 edition.

Loebulus: L014 - Lucian -- Lucian I: Phalaris. Hippias or The Bath. Dionysus. Heracles. Amber or The Swans. The Fly. Nigrinus. Demonax. The Hall. My Native Land. Octogenarians. A True Story. Slander. The Consonants at Law. The Carousal (Symposium) or The Lapiths. Public domain Loeb edition, Greek-English parallel text. PDF format.

The Lucian of Samosata Project: The True History, translated H.W. Fowler and F.G. Fowler. HTML format.

Perseus: Greek text. HTML and XML formats.

Sacred Texts: A True Story, translated by A.M. Harmon (1913). Parallel Greek/English HTML text.

University of Adelaide: The True History, translated by H.W. Fowler and F.G. Fowler. Multiple formats.

Wikisource: Greek text and English translation (currently via

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