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(lo͞o`shən), b. c.120, d. after 180, Greek writer, also called Lucianus, b. Samosata, Syria. In late life he held a government position in Egypt. Lucian wrote an easy, masterly Attic prose, which he turned to satirical use. His wit and characterizations give his satires a vigor and an interest that have made him highly admired and often imitated. The most important and characteristic are his dialogues (e.g., Dialogues of the Gods, Dialogues of the Dead, The Sale of Lives), which deal with ancient mythology (the Olympian fables, which he satirizes) and with contemporary philosophers (whose ineptitude he exposes). The True History, a fantastic tale parodying incredible adventure stories, influenced such later writers as Rabelais and Swift. Lucian also wrote poems and rhetorical, critical, and biographical works.


See C. R. Robinson, Lucian and His Influence in Europe (1979); C. P. Jones, Culture and Society in Lucian (1986).



Born circa A.D. 120 in Samosata, Syria; died after 180 in Egypt. Greek writer. Son of an artisan of modest means.

Lucian wrote his best works when he lived in Athens (c. 165-180). His primary genre was the satirical dialogue, a polemical parody of mythological subjects written in clear and witty language; the characters’ speech is peppered with jokes and proverbs. The influence of the democratic philosophy of the Cynics and similar ideas of the Stoics can be traced in Lucian’s most mature works (the Menippus dialogues—Menippus, Banquet, and Dialogues of the Gods). Lucian’s philosophy evolved into the materialism of Epicurus. The antireligiosity and sharp social criticism of his satires kept Lucian from enjoying the popularity he deserved in the ancient world. His works influenced the Byzantine satirists and writers of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment. F. Engels called Lucian “the Voltaire of classical antiquity” (K. Marx and F. Engels, Soch., 2nd ed., vol. 22, page 469).


Luciani Samosatenis opera, vols. 1-4. Edited by C. Jacobitz. Hildesheim, 1966.
In Russian translation:
Sobr. soch., vols. 1-2. Moscow-Leningrad, 1935.
Izbrannoe. Moscow, 1962.
Izbr. ateisticheskie proizvedeniia. Moscow, 1955.


Istoriia grecheskoi literatury, vol. 3. Edited by S. I. Sobolevskii. Moscow,
1960. Pages 219-24.
Caster, M. Lucien et la pensee religieuse de son temps. Paris, 1937 Avenarius, G. Lukians Schrift zur Geschichtsschreibung. Meisenheim am
Glan, 1956. (Bibliography, pp. 179-83.)



2nd century ad, Greek writer, noted esp for his satirical Dialogues of the Gods and Dialogues of the Dead
References in periodicals archive ?
Este segundo indice verifica-se igualmente impreciso e incoerente: os nomes "Horneras", "Horatius", "Lucianus" e "Vergilius" nao estao em conformidade com os textos da colectanea, onde ocorrem como "Homer", "Horace", "Lucian" e "Vergil"; a expressao "seriocomical literature", como listada no indice, surge nas paginas 32 e 36 sob a forma "serio-comical literature"; figuram ainda neste indice geral as entradas "paradox of action", "of method", "of reason", mas por algum motivo esta em falta o "paradox of knowledge", que se le nas paginas 82 e 97.
Elsewhere, in 1.3 Laertes' expectations in Paris were highlighted by condoms tumbling out of his suitcase; the dumb show in 3.2 presented a dwarfish simian king, an oversized transvestite queen, and a Lucianus who descended from above, delivered his poison, wooed the queen by opening his heart-shaped red codpiece so that a spring popped out, and sent the king back above.
(44) Of Apollo depicted with the shield and the sword: 'The shield and spear intend the nature of Mars, for that with some they are held to be all one', Richard Lynche, 'Lucianus', The Fountaine of Ancient Fiction, London 1599, facsimile edition (New York: Garland Publishing Inc, 1976), without pagination.
Lucianus and the "Black" Pyrrhus of the Player's speech
Zenobius because the family held that it could trace its lineage back to the saint's father, Lucianus. (22) Indeed, the family was known as the Girolami "del Vescovo" because of its special relationship with the early Christian era bishop.
He specifically identifies the murderer in The Murder of Gonzago as "one Lucianus, nephew to the King" (3.2.242), and therefore directly parallel to Prince Hamlet himself.
The Johns Hopkins copy (with the 1676 text) has fuller versions of these notes with additional specification of props: for example, 'Lucianus, a phial' beside iii.2.172; 'Hamlet, 2 pictures' beside iii.3.97; 'Two chairs on below ye long trap' for iii.4, 'Sailors with Letter writ' beside iv.5.172; 'Large Trap open, Earth, Sculls and Bones in it' for v.1; 'Ostrick with Foils' beside v.2.80.
Felder, 1869) Rhetus arcius (Linnaeus, 1763) 1 Mesosemia telegone (Boisduval, 1836) Chorinea octauius (Fabricius,1787) Emesis mandana (Cramer, 1780) Calephelis laverna (Godman & Salvin, 1886) Calospila lucianus luciana (Hubner, 1811) Juditha molpe (Hubner, 1808) Melanis electron (Fabricius, 1793) 1 Seco ocellata (Hewitson, 1867) NYMPHALIDAE APATURINAE Doxocopa laure (Drury, 1773) 2 BIBLINAE Biblis hyperia (Cramer, 1779) 1 Haematera pyrame thysbe (Dowbleday, 1 1 1849) Hamadryas amphinome mexicana (Lucas, 4 1853) Hamadryas februa ferentina (Godart, 7 1 4 1824) Hamadryas feronia farinulenta 13 (Fruhatorfer, 1916) Hamadryas iphtime (H.W.
With Jeffrey Carlson (Hamlet), Robert Cuccioli (Claudius), Janet Zarish (Gertrude), Ted van Griethuysen (Ghost, First Player, Lucianus, Gravedigger), Robert Jason Jackson (Polonius), Kenajuan Bentley (Laertes), Michelle Beck (Ophelia), Pedro Pascal (Horatio), David L.
Hamlet then makes a point of identifying the poisoner--speaking his words most closely, as I imagine it, into Claudius's ear: "This is one Lucianus, nephew to the King." Ophelia breaks in suddenly, with what sounds like an idle bit of praise, perhaps to distract Hamlet in his manic attentions to the king, though her words could be pronounced with an edge of their own:
"Loukios" of Lucianus and "Metamorphoses" of Apuleius: From the History of Ancient Novel.
But I want to suggest an even wider context for Hamlet and Guildenstern's exchange here in 3.2, one which involves the causal networks of body, mind, and world invoked by the words of player nephew Lucianus as he pours poison into the sleeping Player King's ear: Thoughts black, hands apt, drugs fit, and time agreeing, [Confederate] season, else no creature seeing.