6 Utopia and prophecy

Utopias are descriptions of ideal societies, based on Utopia by Thomas More (1478-1535) from 1516. In this book More takes issue with the difference between rich and poor: why do wealthy goldsmiths and usurers indulge in luxuries, while even pack animals are better off than workers, drivers, smiths, carpenters, and ploughmen? The illustration by Ambrose Holbein (c 1494-1519), Hans Holbein’s older brother, is symbolic: the legendary last king of Rome is purchasing the prophetic books by the Cumaen Sibyl.

De optimo reip[ublicae] statu deque nova insula utopia libellus vere aureus
Thomas More
Basle: Joannes Frobenius, 1518
Book, third ed, incompl, 17 x 22