Notorious for his wit, satire, and spontaneity, Lucian of Samosata traveled through Ionia, Greece, Italy, Gaul, and other places giving entertaining and often sarcastic lectures to educated people. Professionally, Lucian was a rhetorician, possessing a mastery of speechcraft and the art of pleading in court. While the details of his personal life elude historians, his extensive writings have survived in more than 150 manuscripts.
Lucian wrote a number of books in addition to his essays, making him one of the earliest novelists of Western civilization. A True Story, included in this collection, is widely recognized as one of, if not the, earliest science fiction novel. The Lover of Lies—also known as The Doubter or The Cheater—contains the original text of The Sorceror’s Apprentice. Many of Lucian’s works were influential, innovative, and unique, however, the authorship of a handful of the works attributed to him have been called into question.
This collection contains the complete texts in their Loeb Classical Library editions. Each text includes the original Greek and an English translation for easy side-by-side comparison. Logos’ language tools allow you to go deeper into the Greek text and explore Lucian’s elegant language. Use the dictionary lookup tool to examine difficult English words used by the translator, or break down challenging Greek words used by Lucian. Students of literature, history, and ancient cultures will enjoy these works and appreciate their significance.
Click on the highest price you'd pay. If the final price is lower, that's what you'll pay.
Rightly to understand and appreciate Lucian, one must recognise that he was not a philosopher nor even a moralist, but a rhetorician, that his mission in life was not to reform society nor chastise it, but simply to amuse it.
—A. M. Harmon, professor of Greek, Yale
Lucian of Samosata (AD 125–c. 180) was a Greek rhetorician and satirist. Little is known about his life beyond what can be gleaned from his writings, many of which he states are not true. He called himself a Syrian, claiming to possess a “barbarian tongue.” Some scholars believe that before he received his training as a rhetorician, he was briefly an apprentice for his uncle, a sculptor.
Austin Morris Harmon (1878–1950) was a skilled editor and translator of Greek. He produced the first two volumes of the Loeb edition of Lucian while he was preceptor in Greek at Princeton. After revealing his talent for translation, he became a professor of Greek at Yale until 1945. For a time, he was also an editor of Yale Classical Studies.