A Greek-educated Syrian, Lucian wrote witty pieces that demonstrate a profound skepticism for religion and philosophy and encourage honest living and good sense. “Chattering Courtesans” is a series of short dialogues in which the amusing gossip of “kept women” gives rise to a discussion of more serious subjects such as love, sex, and marriage. Other comic dialogues in this volume show Lucian making fun of fanaticism and mocking pretension, hypocrisy, and the vanity of human wealth and power, while in “Diatribes” he targets a range of subjects, from scandal and money to death, in order to demonstrate the follies of contemporary life. Also included here is Lucian’s most famous work, True Histories, which inspired imaginary voyages, from More’s Utopia to Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels.
- First time in Penguin Classics
- Keith Sidwell’s new translation captures Lucian’s lively informal humor and rich variety of styles
- Introduction discusses the influence on Lucian of earlier Greek writers and philosophers, as well as Lucian’s influence on later European culture
- Includes preface to each section, suggestions for further reading, explanatory notes, and a glossary of names