Lucian of Samosata
c. 125 - 180 AD
Lucian, who called himself an Assyrian (Syrian) and wrote in Greek, was a rhetorician whose satirical manner rideculed ‘tyrants, prophets, waning gods, and hypocritical philosophers’. Today we might call him a pundit.
Lucian is also considered the ‘Father of Science Fiction’ for his phantastic tales of space voyages, extraterrestial life, and planetary wars long before H. G. Wells and Jules Verne.
Lucian of Samosata quotes ~
• “The effort only shifted me from the frying-pan into the fire.”
• “In history, nothing fabulous can be agreeable.”
• “The historian's one task is to tell the thing as it happened.”
• “The good historian, then, must be thus described: he must be fearless, uncorrupted, free, the friend of truth and of liberty; one who, to use the words of the comic poet, calls a fig a fig, and a skiff a skiff, neither giving nor withholding from any, from favour or from enmity, not influenced by pity, by shame, or by remorse; a just judge, so far benevolent to all as never to give more than is due to any in his work; a stranger to all, of no country, bound only by his own laws, acknowledging no sovereign, never considering what this or that man may say of him, but relating faithfully everything as it happened.”
• “A monkey is always a monkey,” says the proverb, “even if he has birth-tokens of gold.” Although you have a book in your hand and read all the time, you do not understand a single thing that you read, but you are like the donkey that listens to the lyre and wags his ears.”
• Selected Satire of Lucian