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Selected Satires

4.12  ·  Rating Details ·  88 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
Lucian, born in Syria in the second century C.E., came to Greece at an early age and mastered its language and literature. He took up law, left it for public speaking, then turned to full-time writing, producing the wide range of subject matter and literary form which is represented in this collection.

A master of the vivid scene, Lucian used his pungent style to ridicule t
Paperback, 400 pages
Published April 17th 1968 by W. W. Norton & Company
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Feb 28, 2012 Coyle rated it it was amazing
Excellent selection and translation of a delightful ancient author. Lucian of Samosata (~125-180) was a lawyer and satirist in the ancient world. The writings selected here (and translated into modern English) are those which highlight both Lucian's sense of humor and his dedication to ridding the world of charaltans and philosophical hucksters. Included in this volume are two novellas: "A True Story" (a parody of the Odyssey) and "Lucius the Ass" (in which a man is turned into a donkey); a seri ...more
Dec 21, 2014 Stuart rated it really liked it
Written in the mid-100's AD this book of Satires is a nice read. I love how he prefaces "A True Story" saying 'everything I'm about to tell you is a lie' and then spins a tale of weird creatures and strange lands influencing Gulliver's Travels or Hieronymus Bosch centuries later.

His most famous story "Lucius, The Ass" must have been a predecessor to Kafka's "Metamorphosis".

Many of the other satires I skimmed as Lucian is poking fun at the Roman gods which is so before-last-millennium. But "Alaxa
Aug 23, 2016 Leonardo marked it as to-keep-ref
Shelves: ancient-greece
Marx dijo célebremente que la historia se produce primero como tragedia y después como farsa; los antiguos griegos se despidieron de sus dioses recurriendo a las sátiras de Luciano, riéndose de ellos. Sin embargo, como muchos agudos comentaristas han señalado, algunas veces este orden puede invertirse: lo que empieza como farsa puede acabar en tragedia. A finales de la década de los veinte, por ejemplo, Hitler y su marginal partido eran universalmente ridiculizados como payasos y bufones.

May 13, 2014 Cassandra marked it as unfinished  ·  review of another edition
I keep trying to read these ancient Roman works and discovering that I do not really enjoy them, at all.
Fantastic! This book contains a great selection of Lucian's varied writings. The best ones are the original Golden Ass and the Dialogues of the Dead. Everything in here is damned hilarious. The translation itself is easy to read, but there were a few oddities, such as Greek money translated as American dollars.
Feb 18, 2016 Steve rated it liked it
Kind of an uneven collection but still nice variety of writing. I think "Dialogues of the Dead", "Alexander the False Prophet" and "The Death of Peregrinus" standout. Might wanna brush up on Homer's "Iliad" and "Odyssey" before tackling this one in that there are many (MANY!) references to them throughout.
Kurt Koller
Can't speak to the quality of translation, but I enjoyed it well enough. More research for my Ferryman novel.
Dan Wilbur
Apr 12, 2011 Dan Wilbur rated it it was amazing
Unfinished college thesis on this man... The original stand-up comic and sketch writer using Greek gods.
Jun 05, 2007 Geoffrey rated it liked it
Worth it for the Little Nemo in Slumberland-esque "True Hisory."
Apr 20, 2010 Michael rated it it was amazing
"I'll shoot you down with my Indemonstrable Syllogism."
Nov 21, 2009 Jonathan added it
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  • Aristophanes 1: Clouds/Wasps/Birds
  • Idylls
  • The Sixteen Satires
  • The Fall of Troy
  • Euripides IV: Rhesus/The Suppliant Women/Orestes/Iphigenia in Aulis
  • Leucippe and Clitophon
  • Epigrams
  • Women of Trachis
  • The Odes of Pindar
  • The Nature of the Gods
  • 7 Greeks
  • The Satyricon and The Apocolocyntosis
  • The Seven Against Thebes
  • On Great Writing (On the Sublime)
  • The Rope and Other Plays
  • Theophrastus: Characters
  • Pharsalia: The Civil War
  • The Odes of Horace
Lucian of Samosata was an Assyrian rhetorician, and satirist who wrote in the Greek language. He is noted for his witty and scoffing nature.

(Taken from Wikipedia)
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