Thomas More (1477/78-1535) Author of, as well as character within, Utopia. More was a prominent English Humanist, writer, lawyer, and high official of the British Crown, attaining the position of Lord Chancellor at the end of his life (and Saint thereafter). He was beheaded on the charge of treason for refusing to sanction King Henry VIII’s divorce and expedient split from the Catholic Church. More »
Peter Giles (1486-1533) Flemish friend to Thomas More, and character in More’s Utopia. Giles, or Pieter Gillis as he was born, was a well known Humanist and printer in Antwerp. He contributed the Utopian alphabet, verses in the Utopian tongue, and probably the marginalia in Utopia. More »
Raphael Hythloday (1516 to the present) A traveler who discovered the island of Utopia and narrates Book II of Utopia. Hythloday, or Hythlodaeus as it appeared in the original Latin, is derived from the Greek word for “nonsense” or “idle talk,” while his Christian name, Raphael, recalls the archangel who gives sight to the blind.
Guillaume Budé (1467-1540) A well-known French Humanist scholar who provided a commendation for the 1517 and 1518 editions of Utopia. More »
Jerome de Busleyden (1470-1517) A Dutch Humanist, statesmen and patron of learning, as well as friend of More and Erasmus, who provided multiple commendations for Utopia. More »
John Desmarais (?–1526) A noted Latin scholar and teacher of oratory at the University of Louvain and friend of Erasmus. Also known as Jean Desmarez, he wrote a commendation printed in the 1516 and 1517 editions of Utopia.
Erasmus (1466-1536) A prominent Dutch Humanist scholar, translator, theologian, priest and friend of More’s. Erasmus–or Desiderius Erasmus of Rotterdam as he was also known– helped assemble commendations for Utopia, as well as supplying one of his own. He may also have contributed to the marginalia. More »
Gerard Geldenhouwer (1482-1542) A Dutch professor of history and theology who oversaw the first printing of Utopia and also contributed a short poem to the volume. More »
Cornelius Graphey (1482-1558) Also known as Cornelius Grapheus, Schreiber or de Schrijver, Graphey was a distinguished poet in Latin, and friend of Giles and Erasmus. He composed a short set of verses for Utopia.
Beatus Rhenanus (1485-1547) A printer, scholar, religious reformer and Humanist, friend to the popular Erasmus, and active in Johann Froben’s publishing business in Basel, where the two 1518 editions of Utopia were printed. Rhenanus supervised these printings and contributed his own dedication. More »