Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Lucianus, or Lucian (circa 120-200 A.D.), humorous Greek writer, was born at Samosata, on the Euphrates, in the Syrian district of Commagene. After practising as an advocate at Antioch, he travelled through Greece, Italy, and Gaul, acquiring much wealth by his rhetorical displays. At the age of forty he returned to his own land, and there wrote his principal works, which are mostly in the form of dialogues. During the latter part of his life he was procurator of part of Egypt. Some of Lucian's most amusing compositions were written with the express purpose of throwing ridicule on the decaying religion and philosophy of the age. To this class belong the Bialogues of the Gods, the Sale of the Philosophers, the Banquet, and the Icaro-Menippos, which describes a journey to Olympus by way of the moon, undertaken by a dissatisfied student of philosophy in quest of truth. The chief interest of other dialogues, such as the Timon, consists in their graphic account of contemporary social life. The famous Bialogues oftlie Bead are intended to show the emptiness of everything which seems precious to mankind. Lucian had a wide experience of human nature, and a wonderful faculty of producing grotesque images aad ideas. His narrative is always extremely lively, and the purity of his language approaches that of the best Attic.