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The Works of Lucian of Samosata: Volumes 1, 2, 3 & 4 (Forgotten Books) Paperback – December 28, 2007
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About the Author
"Lucian, Greek satirist of the Silver Age of Greek literature, born at Samosata on the Euphrates in northern Syria. He tells us in the Somnium or Vita Luciani, that, his means being small, he was at first apprenticed to his maternal uncle, a sculptor of the stone pillars called Hermae. Having made an unlucky beginning by breaking a marble slab, and having been well beaten for it, he absconded and returned home. Here he had a dream or vision of two women, representing Statuary and Literature. Both plead their cause at length, setting forth the advantages and the prospects of their respective professions; but the youth decides to pursue learning. For some time he seems to have made money following the example of Demosthenes, on whose merits and patriotism he expatiates in the dialogue Demosthenis Encomium. He was very familiar with the rival schools of philosophy, and he must have well studied their teachings; but he lashes them all alike, the Cynics, perhaps, being the chief object of his derision. Lucian was not only a skeptic; he was a scoffer and a downright unbeliever. He felt that men's actions and conduct always fall far short of their professions and therefore he concluded that the professions themselves were worthless, and a mere guise to secure popularity or respect. Of Christianity he shows some knowledge, and it must have been somewhat largely professed in Syria at the close of the 2nd century. In the Philopatris, though the dialogue so called is generally regarded as spurious, there is a statement of the doctrine of the Trinity, and the "Galilaean who had ascended to the third heaven", and "renewed" by the waters of baptism, may possibly allude to St. Paul. The doctrines of the "Light of the world" and that God is in heaven making a record of the good and bad actions of men, seem to have come from the same doubtful authorship. To understand them aright we must source, though the notion of a written catalogue of human actions to be used in judgment was familiar to Aeschylus and Euripides." (Quote from nndb.com)