Taking the following definition of dystopia:
It would seem there’s a certain aspect to it that is very much subject to context. What we envision today a dystopian future could be a dream society for people of the Roman Empire.
That got me thinking about when literature evolved to imagine a future in which society had evolved for the worse (therefore making the present, by comparison better or more just.)
On the one side I have the (completely unjustified) feeling it is a reasonably “new” concept, maybe dating back 2 or 3 centuries top, fueled by the industrial revolution. On the other, given the amount of myths and stories in old Greek or Roman times I see no reason they couldn’t have had their own “imagination”.
What would be the first work of fiction to envision a dystopian future?
Clarification: What's interesting to me is when people started imagining dystopian societies, that is, a future where society has gone sour as it implies a way of thinking that envisions future as something that can go wrong rather than improving.
Note a dupe: I don't feel First appearance of the "wake up from a coma, discover the world has ended" trope? answers the question as a) end of the world is not the same as dystopia and b) I don't care about comma, the main interest is "when did people start thinking about this?"