Thread: Books
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Old April 23rd, 2006, 09:20 PM   #122 (permalink)
speed
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Posts: 5,192
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freanan
Thanks to the ones who helped with the greeks!
For Sophocles i think i'll get a package called 'the three theban plays' by penguin classics, which also includes the oedipus rex.. For Aeschylus i will get the Oresteia and for Aritophanes i will try 'Birds'.
I might look into Lucian..

Some of the books the Timerbird posted sound interresting too.
I always find more books interresting then i have time and money to buy and read..
Please do--Lucian that is. You will not regret it. Lucian and Aristophanes are as good as it gets. Philosophically insightful hilarity and absurdism that still resonates today.

WIkipedias entry for Lucian (a bit weak, but a decent primer)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

LucianLucian of Samosata (Greek: Λουκιανὸς Σαμοσατεύς, Latin, Lucianus; c. AD 120 - after 180) was a rhetorician and satirist, writing in the Greek language, noted for his witty and scoffing nature.

He was born in Samosata (now inundated in a reservoir of eastern Turkey), in the former kingdom of Commagene, which had been absorbed by the Roman Empire and made part of the province of Syria, thus he referred to himself as a "Syrian" (Harmon). He died probably in Athens. His birthplace was recently lost when the Atatürk Dam project led to the destruction of the site. Lucian almost certainly did not write all the more than eighty works attributed to him— declamations, essays both laudatory and sarcastic, and comic dialogues and symposia with a satirical cast, studded with quotations in alarming contexts and allusions set in an unusual light, designed to be surprising and provocative. His name added luster to any entertaining and sarcastic essay: over 150 surviving manuscripts attest to his continued popularity. The first printed edition of a selection of his works was issued at Florence in 1499. His best known works are A True Story (a romance, patently not "true" at all, with its trip to the moon), and Dialogues of the Gods and Dialogues of the Dead.

Lucian was trained as a rhetorician, a vocation where one plead in court, to compose pleas for others and to teach the art of pleading, but Lucian's practice was to travel about, giving amusing discourses and witty lectures improvised on the spot, somewhat as a rhapsode had done in declaiming poetry at an earlier period. In this way Lucian travelled through Ionia and mainland Greece, to Italy and even to Gaul, and won much wealth and fame.

Lucian admired the works of Epicurus, for he breaks off a witty satire against Alexander the false prophet, who burned a book of Epicurus, to exclaim

what blessings that book creates for its readers and what peace, tranquillity, and freedom it engenders in them, liberating them as it does from terrors and apparitions and portents, from vain hopes and extravagant cravings, developing in them intelligence and truth, and truly purifying their understanding, not with torches and squills and that sort of foolery, but with straight thinking, truthfulness and frankness.
In his Symposium, far from Plato's discourse, the diners get drunk, tell smutty tales and behave badly.

In A True Story he parodied some weird tales told by Homer in the Odyssey and some feeble fantasies that were popular in his time. He anticipated "modern" fictional themes like voyages to the moon and Venus, extraterrestrial life and wars between planets centuries before Jules Verne and H. G. Wells. He could actually be called the Father of science fiction.

Lucian also wrote a satire called The Passing of Peregrinus, in which the lead character, Peregrinus, takes advantage of the generosity and gullibility of Christians. This is one of the earliest surviving pagan perceptions of Christianity. His Philopseudes (Greek for "Lover of lies") is a frame story which includes the original version of "The Sorcerer's Apprentice".
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Last edited by speed : April 23rd, 2006 at 09:46 PM.
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