Abstract

This paper reexamines the influence of Plato and the Greek tradition on Thomas More’s Utopia, arguing that Plato’s reception within the Greek world profoundly shaped how More would have encountered Plato’s writings in early sixteenth-century England. Focusing on Lucian and Diogenes Laertius in particular, I demonstrate that their whimsical rewritings of Plato’s life and works, and the self-conscious belatedness of their postclassicism, guided Utopia’s own speculative fictionality and preoccupation with the past. In uncovering More’s attentiveness to this historically layered Greek tradition, I explore new paradigms for how scholarly recovery and imaginative representation interact in early modernity.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6547
Print ISSN
0013-8304
Pages
pp. 927-958
Launched on MUSE
2016-12-08
Open Access
No
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