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Headword: Λουκιανός
Adler number: lambda,683
Translated headword: Loukianos, Lucianus, Lucian
Vetting Status: high
Translation:
Of Samosata,[1] nicknamed blasphemer or slanderer, or better to say godless, because in his dialogues he ridiculed the things said about the divine. He lived in the time of the Emperor Trajan and later. Early in his career this man was a lawyer in Syrian Antioch, but, after proving unsuccessful at this, he turned to writing and wrote endlessly.[2] The story goes that he was killed by dogs, because he turned his savagery against the truth;[3] for in his "Life of Peregrinus" he attacked Christianity and -- the scoundrel --slandered Christ himself.[4] Wherefore he paid sufficient penalty for his rage in this life, but in the life to come he will inherit with Satan a share of the eternal fire.
Greek Original:
Λουκιανός, Σαμοσατεύς, ὁ ἐπικληθεὶς βλάσφημος ἢ δύσφημος, ἢ ἄθεος εἰπεῖν μᾶλλον, ὅτι ἐν τοῖς διαλόγοις αὐτοῦ γελοῖα εἶναι καὶ τὰ περὶ τῶν θείων εἰρημένα παρατίθεται. γέγονε δὲ ἐπῖ τοῦ Καίσαρος Τραιανοῦ καὶ ἐπέκεινα. ἦν δὲ οὗτος τοπρὶν δικηγόρος ἐν Ἀντιοχείᾳ τῆς Συρίας, δυσπραγήσας δ' ἐν τούτῳ ἐπὶ τὸ λογογραφεῖν ἐτράπη καὶ γέγραπται αὐτῷ ἄπειρα. τελευτῆσαι δὲ αὐτὸν λόγος ὑπὸ κυνῶν, ἐπεὶ κατὰ τῆς ἀληθείας ἐλύττησεν: εἰς γὰρ τὸν Περεγρίνου βίον καθάπτεται τοῦ Χριστιανισμοῦ, καὶ αὐτὸν βλασφημεῖ τὸν Χριστὸν ὁ παμμίαρος. διὸ καὶ τῆς λύττης ποινὰς ἀρκούσας ἐν τῷ παρόντι δέδωκεν, ἐν δὲ τῷ μέλλοντι κληρονόμος τοῦ αἰωνίου πυρὸς μετὰ τοῦ Σατανᾶ γενήσεται.
Notes:
Born c.120 CE. See generally OCD(4) s.v. Lucian (by G. Anderson), and for full accounts J.A. Hall, Lucian's Satire (New York: Arno 1981) 1-63; C.P. Jones, Culture and Society in Lucian (Cambridge: Harvard 1986) 6-23, 167-169. The present entry, hostile to him, draws on later Christian polemic.
[1] In Syria: Barrington Atlas map 67 grid H1
[2] Lucian himself characterizes his first profession as rhetoric (Bis accusatus; Apologia 15), which apparently included at least some forensic oratory (e.g., Bis accusatus 32; Piscator 25). The young rhetorician, a Syrian by birth, might well have practiced in Antioch, but the testimony of his corpus only mentions Macedonia and Gaul.
[3] Perhaps this recalls De morte Peregrini 2, where Lucian quips that he was almost mutilated by the Cynics, just as Actaeon by his hounds.
[4] Lucian wrote a life of the philosopher Peregrinus Proteus, in which he portrays him as a charlatan and describes his self-immolation by fire at the Olympic Games of A.D. 165. In an important passage in that work (12-13), Lucian describes how Peregrinus converted to Christianity while in Palestine, became a leader in the church community, and was imprisoned by the Roman authorities. Lucian then satirizes both the reactions of the Christians to Peregrinus' incarceration and Christian belief and practice generally. After his lifetime, pagans and Christians alike considered Lucian a sharp but earnest critic of religion. Lactantius noted that his satire "spared neither gods nor men" (Institutiones divinae 1.9), while Eunapius (Lives of the Sophists 454 [p.4 Giangrande]) and Photius (Bibliotheca 128 [v.II p.102 Henry]) stressed the seriousness of his mockery. The extensive scholia by Arethas, archbishop of Caesarea during the early 10th century, echo the Suda's disgust over the De morte Peregrini (pp.216-220 Rabe). On this Byzantine polemic, which is sustained by Alexander of Nicaea and Basil of Adada, see B. Baldwin, Studies in Lucian (Toronto: Hakkert 1973) 100-102.
Reference:
On the Byzantine and later reception of Lucian, see C. Robinson, Lucian and his Influence in Europe (London: Duckworth 1979) 68-81 and E. Mattioli, Luciano e l'Umanesimo (Naples: Istituto per gli studi storici 1980) 9-38
Keywords: biography; Christianity; chronology; ethics; geography; history; law; religion; zoology
Translated by: Akihiko Watanabe on 5 May 1999@12:39:15.
Vetted by:
Edmund P. Cueva on 14 March 2000@06:58:50.
Joseph L. Rife (grammatical and semantic correction; some commentary) on 7 September 2000@20:01:59.
Joseph L. Rife (translation, supplemented notes) on 3 December 2000@16:22:15.
Joseph L. Rife (bibliography) on 3 December 2000@16:44:58.
David Whitehead (augmented note and keywords; cosmetics) on 13 January 2003@08:44:49.
David Whitehead (another keyword) on 3 October 2005@09:33:27.
David Whitehead (augmented notes and keywords) on 22 April 2013@04:31:42.
Catharine Roth (deleted link, coding) on 12 September 2013@18:07:05.
David Whitehead on 5 August 2014@03:47:20.
Catharine Roth (translated a title) on 11 December 2014@23:35:05.

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