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THE WORKS OF LUCIAN OF SAMOSATA

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File Name: THE WORKS OF LUCIAN OF SAMOSATA

File Submitter: Viggen

File Submitted: 22 Nov 2014

File Category: Free Classic Works in PDF

 

 

There are 70 surviving works attributed to Lucian He wrote in a variety of styles which included comic dialogues, rhetorical essays and prose fiction. Lucian was also one of the earliest novelists in Western civilization. In A True Story, a fictional narrative work written in prose, he parodies some of the fantastic tales told by Homer in the Odyssey and also the not so fantastic tales from the historian Thucydides. He anticipated "modern" fictional themes like voyages to the moon and Venus, extraterrestrial life and wars between planets, nearly two millennia before Jules Verne and H. G. Wells. His novel is widely regarded as an early, if not the earliest science fiction work.

 

Lucian also wrote a satire called The Passing of Peregrinus, in which the lead character, Peregrinus Proteus, takes advantage of the generosity of Christians. This is one of the earliest surviving pagan perceptions of Christianity. His Philopseudes (Φιλοψευδὴς ἤ Ἀπιστῶν, "Lover of Lies or Cheater") is a frame story which includes the original version of The Sorcerer's Apprentice. In his Symposium (Συμπόσιον), far from Plato's discourse, the diners get drunk, tell smutty tales and behave badly. The Macrobii (Μακρόβιοι, "long-livers"), which is devoted to longevity, has been attributed to Lucian, although it is generally agreed that he was not the author. It gives some mythical examples like that of Nestor who lived three generations or Tiresias, the blind seer of Thebes, who lived six generations. It tells about the Seres (Chinese) "who are said to live 300 years" or the people of Athos, "who are also said to live 130 years". Most of the examples of "real" men lived between 80 and 100 years, but ten cases of alleged centenarians are given. It also gives some advice concerning food intake and moderation in general.

 

Lucian's Kataplous or Downward Journey was deathbed-reading for David Hume and the source of Nietzsche's Übermensch or Overman.

There is debate over the authorship of some works transmitted under Lucian's name, such as De Dea Syria ("On the Syrian goddess"), the Amores and the Ass. These are usually not considered genuine works of Lucian and normally cited under the name of Pseudo-Lucian. The Ass (Λούκιος ἢ ῎Oνος) is probably a summarized version of a story by Lucian and contains largely the same basic plot elements as The Golden Ass (or Metamorphoses) of Apuleius, but with inset tales and a different ending.

 

 

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