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date: 18 June 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the comic-satiric work of the Syrian author Lucian of Samosata (ca.125–180). Traditional biographical accounts of Lucian’s life are avoided in the interest of focusing the reader’s attention on the ways in which Lucian presents a series of authorial personae throughout his large and diverse corpus. In particular, the chapter describes how an interest in the antithesis of Greek and barbarian animates much of Lucian’s work and discusses the series of Hellenized barbarians—both mortal and immortal—who populate Lucian’s comic dialogues. The chapter focuses as well on how Lucian explores the novelty of what he presents as his own invention of the generically transgressive Comic Dialogue—here as well, the chapter suggests, Lucian maps his concerns with generic hybridity onto culture and ethnicity. Finally, the chapter discusses Lucian’s abiding interest in the various types of imposters that defined contemporary intellectual, social, and religious life.

Keywords: biographical criticism, acculturation, comic dialogue, Greek-Barbarian antithesis, ethnicity, anacharsis, invective, satire

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