Sunday, May 1, 2022

Lucian of Samosata

LUCIAN OF SAMOSATA (Hellenized Syrian, c. 125-after 180)

Lucian of Samosata was a wildly-popular satirist born in Samosata along the banks of the Euphrates in a part of the Roman province of Syria that is now in Turkey. He is best known for ridiculing superstition, religious practices, and belief in the paranormal. All we know of him comes from his own works (written in ancient Greek), but the "facts" are obscured by any literary license he may have taken--and his sarcasm. He may have been a successful travelling lecturer who settled down in Athens for a decade to write. More than 80 of his writings have survived, a huge number compared to other classical writers. His most famous work, A True Story, takes down authors who tell incredible tales. Lover of Lies contains the oldest known version of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice." His works affected later writers including Thomas More, Rabelais, Shakespeare, and Swift.


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