- Publisher: Bottom of the Hill Publishing Feb - 2011 (1656)
- ASIN: B00XVI1RW8
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
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[ The City of the Sun by Campanella, Tommaso ( Author ) Feb-2011 Paperback ]
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The tale here is told by a sea captain who has visited an island called Taprobane (quite possibly Sumatra). He tells of finding a land where there is community property, labor is divided equitably among the people, and there is no need for money. In "The City of the Sun" all of the inhabitants work towards the common good, entrusting their government to the wisest and ablest among them, and prizing equality and self-sacrifice for the sake of the community above all. The system is so efficient that all work is completed in a four-hour work day. The influences of not only Sir Thomas More but Plato is clearly seen in this utopian vision, especially in the notion of scientifically controlling breeding.
However, like More, Campanella discourses on the topics of religion, justice, and war. The religion of the City of the Sun is clearly Christianity, but with sun figures representing God in the temples and the clergy being pure in their conduct (remember, Campanella lived the monastic life). The head of the government is called Hoh, and his chief ministers are Pon (Power), Sin (Wisdom), and Mor (Love). Clearly the Hoh (which means metaphysics) is fashioned after Plato's philosopher-king, since he has to know all of the sciences, as well as metaphysics, theology, and the history of all kingdoms and their governments. Science is what drives this utopia (which comes from Telesius rather than Plato), which develops power-propelled ships and flying machines, and which will create the ideal world Campanella envisions.
Clearly More's "Utopia" is the font of all that follows, but in terms of other early utopian works Campanella's "The City of the Sun" compares quite favorably with Francis Bacon's "New Atlantis" and Johann Valentin Andreae's "Christianopolis." The obvious comparison is between the utopias of Campanella and Bacon, but the former goes much farther is developing his seven-sided city than the latter, where Bacon is concerned primarily with emphasizing the duty of the state to foster scientific research. However, both utopias underscore the idea that science will solve the evils of this world. These early utopias do not usually receive as much consideration as the dystopian novels of the 20th century, but the works of Campanella and these others certainly represent the utopian ideal in its purest form.
The more I read about utopia societies, the more I love this world and the more it seems to be the best world to live in. Just finished reading the book The City Of The Sun by Tommaso Campanella and it really seems like a copy of Utopia by Thomas More, which I read couple months ago. The style of writing and the way author express himself through the material is very interesting considering the century it was written. Though, Tommaso was absolutely familiar with the More's treatise Utopia, and the style of both books is similar not accidentally. Sincerely, I like the "original" Utopia more.
If you still don't consider our world to be utopia and still dreaming about living in those fiction utopias it's a great book for you to read. What really made me think reading this book is that Tommaso builds his City of the Sun on the society he actually lived in. It seems that utopia is just what actually exists but everything that is considered bad is removed and everything considered good is magnified. That's it, nothing more nothing less. Moreover, the religion is exaggerated what is strange having in mind modern utopias that really denies religion. But having in mind the century the book was written (more than 400 year ago), probably it's the norm.
In addition, The City Of The Sun really look like a mix of the modern days authors' books' The New Brave World and 1984. Not considering technologies, just taking the society's lifestyle and traditions, it really looks having characteristics similar to both of the modern novels. And still I don't love the robotized society. Even though the book describes happy people, I still don't see any personalities and any sense of their existence, but probably that's the point of utopia world.
I just want to make some analogues to our world. One of them is that society in the book is so busy doing everyday activities that people don't even have time to realize themselves and their actual needs or existence. They are blindly following the order of the state, the formed needs and formed happiness. Sadly, but our world is the same. Most people are so busy doing everyday routine activities, following formed opinions and needs that are basically not their own. It seems the same robotic. The good thing is that in our world we can wake up, we have everything we need to do so and if utopia dreams doesn't make you more robotic, if you feel somehow that you need to escape from sleeping life, one of the best books to read is Why You're Dumb, Sick and Broke...And How To get Smart, Healthy and Rich by Randy Gage.
If you have some additions or different opinion, please, share and discuss it together!