Utopian Society Thinkers Tommaso Campanella Part 2

About the famous utopian thinker Tommaso Campanella and history of his planned utopia the City of the Sun.

UTOPIANS-DREAMERS

TOMMASO CAMPANELLA

(1568-1639)

His Utopia: THE CITY OF THE SUN

The City of the Sun, located high on a mountain in Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), was a community-state ruled by a priest-philosopher, Hoh, who had power over everything. He was assisted by three people-Pon (Power), Sin (Knowledge), and More (Love). A National Assembly of all people over 20 years of age chose other officials and also had the power to remove them.

Children were brought up in common. From the ages of three to seven, they learned language and the alphabet and went around barefoot with their hair uncombed. After that, they neatened up and settled down to a serious study of science, mechanics, agriculture, and the arts.

Property was owned communally. There was no individualism or private property. There was also no wealth, no theft, no murder, no rape, no incest, and-most significant perhaps for Campanella-no jails, and no torture.

Campanella's utopia, the first to give a major role to the natural sciences, was technologically advanced. There were "waggons fitted with sails which are borne along by the wind, even when contrary, by contrivance of wheels within wheels."

Women did not have a good time of it. They were shared by men and put under severe discipline. For example, they were forced to take exercise, which "gives them a clear complexion," Campanella said. He also said, "If any woman dyes her face or uses high-heeled boots... she is condemned to capital punishment." Women were trained for war. "The women know well how to let fly fiery balls, and how to make them from lead; how to throw stones from pinnacles and to go in the way of an attack."

The City of the Sun had a eugenics program; humans were selected for breeding as carefully as were domestic animals. Magistrates gave the orders for the chosen to have sexual intercourse, which occurred after the men had prayed and the women had looked at pictures of beautiful men. A person who was guilty of sodomy was made to carry a shoe around his neck as a sign that he had put his foot where his head should have been.

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