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Lucian, True History

Introduction, Text, Translation, and Commentary

Diskin Clay
Edited by James H. Brusuelas

Publication Date - 29 September 2021

ISBN: 9780198789659

224 pages
8.5 x 5.4 inches

In Stock


Lucian of Samosata's True History is a fantastical tale of voyage and imagination. No editor, translator, or reader knows quite how to describe it or fit it comfortably into a familiar genre of Greek literature: 'satires' and 'dialogues' only partially describe the genre or genres he wrote in. Of all the ancient Greco-Roman writers, Lucian is without doubt one of the most inventive and witty.

The Greek text in this edition of the True History is accompanied by a facing page English translation, making it an accessible and informative resource aimed at students and teachers of Greek. Whether used in the classroom or in research, readers will benefit from an introduction to Lucian and his place in imperial Greek literature, as well as a translation and commentary that bring out the wonders of his True History.


  • Provides the Greek text alongisde a lively facing page English translation, ensuring that this edition of the True History is a useful tool for students, as well as being accessible to any interested reader.
  • Includes a detailed introduction and commentary, with notes on historical context, literary features, and language that are aimed at those who have recently begun their studies in Greek literature.
  • Showcases the wonders of Lucian's Vera Historia—which is sometimes described as a forerunner of modern science fiction and fantasy—including a trip to the moon, an interstellar war, and an interlude inside a monstrous whale.

About the Author(s)

Diskin Clay, Former R. J. R. Nabisco Distinguished Professor of Classical Studies, Duke University

The late Diskin Clay was R. J. R. Nabisco Distinguished Professor of Classical Studies at Duke University.

James H. Brusuelas is Associate Professor of Research in Classics and Computer Science and Digital Humanities Manager at EduceLab at the University of Kentucky.


"As implied in the preface, it has been published for the needs of graduate students in the early stages of their programme. It clearly aims at more advanced students than the recent volume by E. Hayes and S. Nimis (Lucian's True Story. An Intermediate Greek Reader [2011]), but also differs in focus as it hopes to expand students' understanding of Greek culture while they practise their language skills." -- KATARZYNA JA:ZD:ZEWSKA, The Classical Review

"This is an accessible and very useful edition of Lucian's True History which should, one hopes, result in Lucian's more widespread appearance in the syllabus of intermediate and advanced Greek classes" -- Calum Maciver, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Table of Contents

    Reader's Guide
    Text and Translation