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The endeavour of small Greek historians to add interest to their work by magnifying the exploits of their countrymen, and piling wonder upon wonder, Lucian first condemned in his Instructions for Writing History, and then caricatured in his True History, wherein is contained the account of a trip to the moon, a piece which must have been enjoyed by Rabelais, which suggeste The endeavour of small Greek historians to add interest to their work by magnifying the exploits of their countrymen, and piling wonder upon wonder, Lucian first condemned in his Instructions for Writing History, and then caricatured in his True History, wherein is contained the account of a trip to the moon, a piece which must have been enjoyed by Rabelais, which suggested to Cyrano de Bergerac his Voyages to the Moon and to the Sun, and insensibly contributed, perhaps, directly or through Bergerac, to the conception of Gulliver’s Travels. The Icaro-Menippus Dialogue describes another trip to the moon, though its satire is more especially directed against the philosophers.


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The endeavour of small Greek historians to add interest to their work by magnifying the exploits of their countrymen, and piling wonder upon wonder, Lucian first condemned in his Instructions for Writing History, and then caricatured in his True History, wherein is contained the account of a trip to the moon, a piece which must have been enjoyed by Rabelais, which suggeste The endeavour of small Greek historians to add interest to their work by magnifying the exploits of their countrymen, and piling wonder upon wonder, Lucian first condemned in his Instructions for Writing History, and then caricatured in his True History, wherein is contained the account of a trip to the moon, a piece which must have been enjoyed by Rabelais, which suggested to Cyrano de Bergerac his Voyages to the Moon and to the Sun, and insensibly contributed, perhaps, directly or through Bergerac, to the conception of Gulliver’s Travels. The Icaro-Menippus Dialogue describes another trip to the moon, though its satire is more especially directed against the philosophers.

30 review for Trips to the Moon (Librivox Audiobook)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ashleigh (a frolic through fiction)

    Without a doubt the weirdest thing I've ever read, which is impressive for the 30 or so pages. Without a doubt the weirdest thing I've ever read, which is impressive for the 30 or so pages.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Gregsamsa

    I can think of no other book containing a lesson in rhetoric, a screed against contemporary scholarship, a lecture on the proper mission of the historian, a battle chronicle, a parody of both philosophy and gods, and a sci-fi/fantasy space adventure. Btw, it's written by a Syrian guy born in 120 A.D. You read that right. What an odd thing this is. This book includes three quite different samples from the work of Lucian of Samosata: "Instructions for Writing History," The True Story, and "Icaro-Men I can think of no other book containing a lesson in rhetoric, a screed against contemporary scholarship, a lecture on the proper mission of the historian, a battle chronicle, a parody of both philosophy and gods, and a sci-fi/fantasy space adventure. Btw, it's written by a Syrian guy born in 120 A.D. You read that right. What an odd thing this is. This book includes three quite different samples from the work of Lucian of Samosata: "Instructions for Writing History," The True Story, and "Icaro-Menippus. A Dialogue." Instructions for Writing History takes the form of a letter to his friend Philo. It seems Lucian has recently been on the ancient equivalent of a lecture tour and has returned home mightily hacked off at the state of contemporary history composition. Not only is its practice inept, but teaching of the art is all but non-existent: "There are many, I know, who think there is no necessity for instruction at all with regard to this business, any more than there is for walking, seeing, or eating, and that it is the easiest thing in the world for a man to write history if he can but say what comes uppermost." Needless to say, Lucian disagrees: "... if there be anything in the whole circle of literature that requires more than ordinary care and attention, it is undoubtedly this." Utmost among his cares is the concern for posterity--making sure future generations receive truthful accounts--so highest on his shit-list are historians whose only sense of duty is to flattery, lavishing praise upon leaders with an eye only on immediate gain, while they might well not even score that: "... it is mere adulation, which they have not art enough to conceal, but heap up together, naked, uncovered, and totally incredible, so that they seldom gain what they expected from it; for the person flattered, if he has anything noble or manly in him, only abhors and despises them for it as mean parasites." His complaints continue: about the self-aggrandizement of the historian; too much cataloging of details and emphasis on the tangential ("The emperor’s shield takes up a whole book to describe") and lacking proper scope ("From inability, and ignorance of everything useful, these men are driven to descriptions of countries and caverns, and when they come into a multiplicity of great and momentous affairs, are utterly at a loss."); a style too elevated or too coarse ("Besides this, after setting out in delicate Ionic, he drops, I know not how, into the most vulgar style and expressions, used only by the very dregs of the people."); disproportionate structure, such as an overblown or underdone preface ("...everything should be alike and of the same colour; the body fitted to the head, not a golden helmet, with a ridiculous breast-plate made of stinking skins, shreds, and patches, a basket shield, and hog-skin boots; and yet numbers of them put the head of a Rhodian Colossus on the body of a dwarf, whilst others show you a body without a head, and step directly into the midst of things"); too much argument (and conclusions) rather than leaving judgement to the reader. And of course there's the little issue of accuracy, his complaints about which contain the surprising fact that even back then people gossiped while they got their hair done: All this, however, with regard to style and composition, may be borne with, but when they misinform us about places, and make mistakes, not of a few leagues, but whole day’s journeys, what shall we say to such historians?  One of them, who never, we may suppose, so much as conversed with a Syrian, or picked up anything concerning them in the barbers’ shop, when he speaks of Europus, tells us, "it is situated in Mesopotamia, two days’ journey from Euphrates, and was built by the Edessenes.”  Not content with this, the same noble writer has taken away my poor country, Samosata, and carried it off, tower, bulwarks, and all, to Mesopotamia. Not content only to find fault with others, Lucian then sets out to provide a guide to what makes a good historian. Part of this is appropriate real-life experience and temperment (someone "who does not stay at home and trust to the reports of others: but, above all, let him be of a noble and liberal mind") and what we would call objectivity, reiterating his concern for posterity: [The historian,] though he may have private enmity against any man, will esteem the public welfare of more consequence to him, and will prefer truth to resentment; and, on the other hand, be he ever so fond of any man, will not spare him when he is in the wrong; for this, as I before observed, is the most essential thing in history, to sacrifice to truth alone, and cast away all care for everything else.  The great universal rule and standard is, to have regard not to those who read now, but to those who are to peruse our works hereafter. After giving some helpful tips on style and composition, he sums up "let it be, in short, what the lowest may understand; and, at the same time, the most learned cannot but approve.  The whole may be adorned with figure and metaphor, provided they are not turgid or bombast, nor seem stiff and laboured, which, like meat too highly seasoned, always give disgust." He also delves into issues regarding quotation and conjecture whose controversies remain unsettled today. He closes by emphasizing once again the importance of regard for future readers, offering a little story as illustration: Recollect the story of the Cnidian architect, when he built the tower in Pharos, where the fire is kindled to prevent mariners from running on the dangerous rocks of Parætonia, that most noble and most beautiful of all works; he carved his own name on a part of the rock on the inside, then covered it over with mortar, and inscribed on it the name of the reigning sovereign: well knowing that, as it afterwards happened, in a short space of time these letters would drop off with the mortar, and discover under it this inscription: “Sostratus the Cnidian, son of Dexiphanes, to those gods who preserve the mariner.”  Thus had he regard not to the times he lived in, not to his own short existence, but to the present period, and to all future ages, even as long as his tower shall stand, and his art remain upon earth. Lucian would likely take issue with my disproporionate emphasis on this first piece but I couldn't help myself, being a rhetoric nerd from way back. After learning from Lucian how to write what is fair and true, we may start in on his narrative The True Story which he immediately admits is not: "Know ye, therefore, that I am going to write about what I never saw myself, nor experienced, nor so much as heard from anybody else, and, what is more, of such things as neither are, nor ever can be.  I give my readers warning, therefore, not to believe me." What follows is a wild parody of contemporary histories and travelogues whose faults the previous essay so snarkily catalogued. The narrator and fifty travel companions set out on a ship bound for adventure, only to get swept up by a storm and left beached on an island. There, a weathered Greek pillar and gigantic footprints testify that this isle was once tread by gods. They discover rooted vine-women whose fingers branch into tendrils bearing grapes, near a river of wine filled with fish that intoxicate. They load up on both and set sail again, until the ship is taken up by a whirlwind which transports them across the skies for a week before they discover another land inhabited by men who ride three-headed vultures. It turns out this new world is the moon, whose citizens are at war with those of the sun. The castaways agree to join in the fight amongst these warriors on the giant winged creatures, while others ride gigantic fleas "as big as twelve elephants." But that's not all: "They have spiders, you must know, in this country, in infinite numbers, and of pretty large dimensions, each of them being as big as one of the islands of the Cyclades..." Those are some serious spiders. The enemy armies of the sun boast a bestiary equally unreal, including two-acre-sized ants with wings and horns, soldiers with slingshots whipping out fatal toxic radishes, and dog-headed infantry mounted on winged acorns. I won't tell you who wins. After negotiations a satirical treaty detailing the terms of such truces is drawn up, freeing the travelers to explore the moon and beyond, discovering a long roster of wonders that convinces us that Jonathan Swift has definitely read his Lucian. Icaro-Menippus. A Dialogue is a short conversation between the satirist Menippus, fresh from a trip to (guess where) the moon, and a credulous friend. It sends up the ancient dieties and philosophers, lampooning the ambition of metaphysics and the pettinesses of the gods. This book is available from The Gutenberg Project for free.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Steve

    Now, this is what I call a tall story... Lucian of Samosata (c. 120 - c. 200) was born in the Roman province of Syria. His mother tongue was probably some form of Aramaic, but he wrote his works in a Greek influenced by the Attic classics. He was a rhetorician, a philosopher of sorts and, after the age of approximately 40, a man of letters, writing in a form of his own making - a kind of comedic dialogue meant to be read instead of performed, though he did travel around reading his dialogues to a Now, this is what I call a tall story... Lucian of Samosata (c. 120 - c. 200) was born in the Roman province of Syria. His mother tongue was probably some form of Aramaic, but he wrote his works in a Greek influenced by the Attic classics. He was a rhetorician, a philosopher of sorts and, after the age of approximately 40, a man of letters, writing in a form of his own making - a kind of comedic dialogue meant to be read instead of performed, though he did travel around reading his dialogues to audiences (after all, a man must eat). Lucian had a real interest in philosophy, but the Hermotimos was his farewell to philosophy. https://www.goodreads.com/review/show... Thereafter, he developed his comedic dialogues and viewed himself as a writer, though many of these dialogues do involve philosophy one way or another. However, he also wrote this story - A True Story - whose truth he flatly denies. Some fifteen hundred years before Swift, Lucian has his heroes fly to islands in the sky, participate in a war between the inhabitants of the moon and those of the sun, and then get swallowed by a whale who wouldn't even have noticed Jonah's miniscule fishy-wishy. But then it gets good. The heroes land at the Isle of the Blessed, where Homer and Ulysses and Achilles live with Socrates and his crowd of beautiful boys. Prominent among the missing: Plato (in his own private Utopia), all of the Stoics (still climbing the mountain of Virtue), all of the Academics (unable to admit the truth of the Isle), etc. Pythagoras and Empedocles are present, though in a rather unfortunate state. Lucian manages to interview Homer, who clears up all of the controversies about Homeric literature...Priceless. But the heroes had to leave because they were still living. Lucian is not happy about leaving, of course, but he is assured that he will perish soon enough and that, as long as he "abstain[s] from stirring fire with a knife, from lupines and from the society of boys over eighteen" he could expect to return to an honored seat at the banquets on the Isle of the Blessed. In this inverted Divine Comedy our heroes return to the living but must first pass the isles where the evil are punished. Naturally, they land on one of them, and we are treated to Lucian's version of Hell. Not unexpectedly, the worst torments are reserved for those who lie and who present false histories.(*) Continuing the long voyage back to Earth, they come to the Isle of Dreams, where Lucian puffs with pride that he can be the first to supplement Homer's vague description with details... And so it goes, island after improbable island until a storm takes them and dashes them onto a real shore. Ah, but not yet the right shore... I don't know why the words "science fiction" are brought into play when discussing this text - is Gulliver's Travels science fiction? Not a bit of it. Like Gulliver's Travels Lucian's text is a satirical fantasy, though of a more modest scope. And, like Gulliver's Travels, it is quite entertaining. I wonder if Swift had read Lucian's story. [Read in the translation by H.W. Fowler and F.G. Fowler from 1905: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8... which is available gratis online.] (*) Earlier in the text Herodotus and a number of the less famous fabulists historians have their legs thoroughly pulled. Rating http://leopard.booklikes.com/post/876...

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ana

    A witty treatise against fake historians and philosophers composed of mostly lies, Trips to the Moon is an early example of science fiction and a satire of travel tales (a kind of Gulliver's Travels). The author and his companions seek out adventures, sailing westward through the Pillars of Hercules. They meet men of different species, even Moon people who were at war with the king of the Sun, were swallowed by a great whale and reached a sea of milk, an island of cheese and the isle of the bles A witty treatise against fake historians and philosophers composed of mostly lies, Trips to the Moon is an early example of science fiction and a satire of travel tales (a kind of Gulliver's Travels). The author and his companions seek out adventures, sailing westward through the Pillars of Hercules. They meet men of different species, even Moon people who were at war with the king of the Sun, were swallowed by a great whale and reached a sea of milk, an island of cheese and the isle of the blessed. There they meets the heroes of the Trojan War, other mythical men and animals, and even Homer. They find Herodotus being eternally punished for the "lies" he published in his The Histories. P.S: the author does not hold Thucydides in high esteem either.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Zadignose

    This is a collection of three or four works (depending on how you count) by Lucian. I will approach them in the reverse order from how they are presented in the book, as I found the book got better and better, and thus the best material comes last. The last work in the collection is Icaro-Menippus. Wikipedia gives a very fair and succinct summary: "Imitating Icarus, Menippus makes himself a pair of wings and flies up to the gods where he learns that Zeus has decided to destroy all philosophers as This is a collection of three or four works (depending on how you count) by Lucian. I will approach them in the reverse order from how they are presented in the book, as I found the book got better and better, and thus the best material comes last. The last work in the collection is Icaro-Menippus. Wikipedia gives a very fair and succinct summary: "Imitating Icarus, Menippus makes himself a pair of wings and flies up to the gods where he learns that Zeus has decided to destroy all philosophers as useless." Of course, along the way, Menippus (the Cynic after whom the "Menippean satire" is named) makes a stop on the moon so as to look down and observe our earth with it's petty problems and concerns, and discovers what a great mess the philosophers make of everything. This book is written as a dialog, it's entertaining and maturely written, even as Lucian is probably guilty of some lousy philosophizing himself. I almost missed reading this, because my main interest had been to read his "True History", which I happen to have gotten another translation of in a different collection... but, I am glad that I went ahead and read Icaro-Menippus, which is perhaps less fanciful than the True History, but it's more pointed. The "True History", in two "books," is what Lucian is most famous for, and this is most likely because it's his most exotic work. The second book is a better reading experience than the first, but not to a large degree, and together they're a continuous work. The book is about as far out and fanciful as one can get. It suffers a bit from the fact that Lucian wrote it mainly as a lark, and did not fully embrace his own effort until he had gotten up a bit of steam and started to discover that he need not only mock the excesses of other authors... he can actually have fun with and make something of this inventive literary style. But the startling thing about the book is mainly its place in literary history. It is a surviving work from an age whose literature is mainly lost, and it seems a prototype of so much of the later inventive works of geniuses in other ages. One can see Rabelais, Cyrano de Bergerac, Swift, Voltaire, Calvino... even looking a bit further afield you can see Roussel and Jary in this book. I believe the later wits and aesthetes were more accomplished, but here we have their prototype. Cyrano, by the way, is the one who seems most directly influenced by Lucian, as their moon-travel stories intersect at multiple points, yet they remain quite distinct works in both style and substance. The first work in the collection is Lucian's instructions for writing history, which he titled "Instructions for Writing History." It is a letter to a friend in which Lucian first points out the faults of many contemporary and earlier historians, then lays out his ideas for how history should actually be written. As a critic, he certainly has his points, though his wit is not quite as sharp and entertaining as his reputation would have it. This is more like the kinds of quibbles and snipes he would most likely have preferred to post to his blog, if he'd had one. For example, he gets rather snooty about issues of dialect. But, surely one must appreciate the absurdity of his one contemporary who believed that "Parthian Dragons" were actual giant serpents carried upon poles which could be unleashed to destroy the enemy, when in fact they were pennants used for signaling, which represented military units of 1000 soldiers. Anyway, when Lucian goes on to disclose his own theories on how history should be written, they turn out to be quite good and reasonable. They also would be regarded as more controversial in his day, whereas they now represent the standard way we think of history: historians should write what actually happened, rather than lionizing, flattering, condemning, praising, and fabricating for the purpose of making a more thrilling or inspirational tale. Historians should not be self-serving either, but rather they should write for the benefit of posterity. These are the ideals which are generally espoused today, even if our own historians may often fall short of reaching the ideal, and even while there may be legitimate argument to support a different approach to history. In summation, I would say that anyone curious about Lucian would do well to read Icaro-Menippus... and True History next... and probably everything if you're of a mind to. But now you have my take. Oh yeah, one more thing. The freebie translation on Gutenberg is a good read, while the translator Thomas Francklin writes many notes which... well, he may just be the kind of commenter that inspired Kinbote in Nabokov's Pale Fire. I.e., he's just a bit nutty. He somewhat inappropriately inserts his own opinions and interpretations from time to time... okay not all that crazy, but I imagine Nabokov may have been frustrated by guys like him... and I can imagine what a bizarre meta-novel would have occurred if Lucian could have written a parody of the work of his own translator/commenter.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Philip Grace

    I listened to the librivox audiobook of the gutenberg.org edition. Written in the 2nd century, it describes a sea voyage by a crew of Greeks. After finding a monument to Hercules, they are carried up into the sky by a storm, and then make landfall on the moon, whose inhabitants are currently at war with those who live on the sun. After that, it starts to get weird... I found this a remarkable entry in the tall-tale genre with tons of vivid details ready to be plundered for new stories or role-pla I listened to the librivox audiobook of the gutenberg.org edition. Written in the 2nd century, it describes a sea voyage by a crew of Greeks. After finding a monument to Hercules, they are carried up into the sky by a storm, and then make landfall on the moon, whose inhabitants are currently at war with those who live on the sun. After that, it starts to get weird... I found this a remarkable entry in the tall-tale genre with tons of vivid details ready to be plundered for new stories or role-playing games. I especially like that it is not "steam-punk" nor "1950s future", but rather "Greek-punk" if you will; that is, it is classical-world flavored sci-fi. They encounter fantasy races, but they interact as though they're both from a polis. I suppose it's somewhat akin to Arabian Nights. I also love the original purpose of this story: the early part of the treatise is a diatribe about how Greek historians add in a bunch of florid, implausible details. He then offers this as an example of how *not* to do it; he assures the reader at the outset that he promises not to say a single thing that's true. And then he just pushes that envelope with a twinkle in his eye: the sizes he describes make no kind of sense, and he gleefully borrows (and butchers) a bunch of what were to him pop-culture references--he just takes stuff from Odysseus, etc. and screws around with it. In all, this is the most unmotivated, low-brow kind of narrative buffoonery, mixed with flagrant braggadoccio by the narrator. This is first-rate, head-shaking, classical era B.S. It's hilarious, and all the more because it's from so long ago.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kristi Delgado

    A lot of fun to translate. It's so ridiculous at points you can't help but fall over in laughter. I mean, dog-sparrows? spiders as big as islands? cork-people? islands of cheese? And don't even get me STARTED on the moon men ^^ We can deduce from what we have of ancient works of literature that he was a satirical genius :) A lot of fun to translate. It's so ridiculous at points you can't help but fall over in laughter. I mean, dog-sparrows? spiders as big as islands? cork-people? islands of cheese? And don't even get me STARTED on the moon men ^^ We can deduce from what we have of ancient works of literature that he was a satirical genius :)

  8. 5 out of 5

    Steve Morrison

    One of the weirdest things I've ever read, and I read some weird stuff. An ancestor of both Gargantua and Gulliver. The episode that stays with me is when they land on the island and decide to eat the ground beneath their feet to see if the island is made of cheese. It is. One of the weirdest things I've ever read, and I read some weird stuff. An ancestor of both Gargantua and Gulliver. The episode that stays with me is when they land on the island and decide to eat the ground beneath their feet to see if the island is made of cheese. It is.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan Maas

    A surprisingly readable work from the 2nd Century AD - And perhaps the earliest Science Fiction Fantasy we have Is this a parody of the epic poetry of the time? Or the world's earliest Science Fiction Fantasies? Well, Lucian's True History starts with an establishment of parody - I did wonder, though, that they thought that they could write untruths and not get caught at it. Therefore, as I myself, thanks to my vanity, was eager to hand something down to posterity, that I might not be the only one A surprisingly readable work from the 2nd Century AD - And perhaps the earliest Science Fiction Fantasy we have Is this a parody of the epic poetry of the time? Or the world's earliest Science Fiction Fantasies? Well, Lucian's True History starts with an establishment of parody - I did wonder, though, that they thought that they could write untruths and not get caught at it. Therefore, as I myself, thanks to my vanity, was eager to hand something down to posterity, that I might not be the only one excluded from the privileges of poetic licence, and as I had nothing true to tell, not having had any adventures of significance, I took to lying. The other authors of the time embellish, and give only part of the truth. Lucian decides to enter history by lying. Though it is purported to be a parody - it is a highly readable Science Fiction Fantasy Lucian's character goes to the moon, fights giant spiders, and lands on a 150-mile long whale. He finds Pumpkin Pirates -pirates that sail on giant pumpkins. The Pumpkin Pirates fight Nut Sailors. Lucian floats on seas of milk, which have islands made of cheese. Before Dante, there was Lucian Dante Alighieri's Inferno may have had the greater impact - it basically defined Western religion and morality for 7 centuries - but it was not the first Science Fiction Fantasy. Lucian brought literature to the next level with this incredible work, one that is highly readable. Is it readable because of the translation? Maybe. But whatever the case - I highly recommend this. Before most any author you know, there was Lucian, and this tale is more than just a novelty - it's a lot of fun.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Leothefox

    Making allowances for this being a nearly 2000 year old text and an old translation of that also, this was a worthwhile read. “True History” is pointed out as one of the first examples of science-fiction, although it's sometimes hard to maintain enough context to see it as such. Apparently the author had it in mind to poke fun at superstition and “true” accounts, and he pretty much admits the absence of truth in here from the start. The ocean voyage that takes up the story includes voyages to n Making allowances for this being a nearly 2000 year old text and an old translation of that also, this was a worthwhile read. “True History” is pointed out as one of the first examples of science-fiction, although it's sometimes hard to maintain enough context to see it as such. Apparently the author had it in mind to poke fun at superstition and “true” accounts, and he pretty much admits the absence of truth in here from the start. The ocean voyage that takes up the story includes voyages to numerous mysterious islands, the afterlife, countries inside a whale, the moon, stars, etc. A lot of this happens so fast that it's hard to keep up with, since some kingdoms and seas and races are encountered for the space of a sentence or less. The part in the afterworld makes extension mention of those famous dead people who are there and those who aren't. This feel a little like an early test run of Dante's Inferno. Our narrator author meets Homer and some of his characters and conducts an interview to clear up debate over authorship of The Iliad and The Odyssey. The whole thing is quite a ways away from what is considered literature or even genre writing from more recent centuries. I haven't done a lot of reading of material from before 500 years ago, so I might be out of my depth on making a proper assessment. The edition I read was from “Forgotten Books”, a dutiful reproduction of an older printing with a lengthy introduction. No footnotes or anything though, that left it puzzling sometimes. There's a lot of really random stuff in here, though, and for me that usually makes it worth the trip. The part about the people of the moon and their irregular anatomy is pretty sweet sci-fi craziness. Oh! There are also illustrations from a lot of guys, including Aubrey Beardsley!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    I'm just imagining this old school homie with his quill and ink laughing to himself as he writes this in 120 AD. LUCIAN: AYO B, I'm writing this new story that's gonna blow your knickers right off your toesies. LUCIAN'S SQUAD MEMBER #1: Ahhhh shiiiit yo, you gotta put down that wild ass weed. LUCIAN'S SQUAD MEMBER #2: What's this one about? LUCIAN: [Snickering] THE FUTURE MAN. THE FUCKING FUTURE. LUCIAN'S SQUAD MEMBER #1: ...wut LUCIAN: Islands made outta cheese. The cheese game in the future is unr I'm just imagining this old school homie with his quill and ink laughing to himself as he writes this in 120 AD. LUCIAN: AYO B, I'm writing this new story that's gonna blow your knickers right off your toesies. LUCIAN'S SQUAD MEMBER #1: Ahhhh shiiiit yo, you gotta put down that wild ass weed. LUCIAN'S SQUAD MEMBER #2: What's this one about? LUCIAN: [Snickering] THE FUTURE MAN. THE FUCKING FUTURE. LUCIAN'S SQUAD MEMBER #1: ...wut LUCIAN: Islands made outta cheese. The cheese game in the future is unreal. Not even on that Gouda or Pepperjack. This is some next level Caciocavallo Podolico $700 a pound shit. LUCIAN'S SQUAD MEMBER #1: Dawg, you are fucking crazy. LUCIAN: There's like, no bitches in the future either. The only titties out there are tryina fuckin kill you Siren style. Homies on the moon don't even fuck. Kids be popping out some big ass steroided out man calves and shit. LUCIAN'S SQUAD MEMBER #2: Man, I like you but you're fucking crazy. LUCIAN: This is a 100% true story too homie. LUCIAN'S SQUAD MEMBER #2: Fuck it, pass that grass and let me hit this rough drafts with some eyes. LUCIAN: For sure, for sure mang. Lemme tell you about some of these mushroom men too....

  12. 4 out of 5

    Michael Yourshaw

    For an SF satire almost 2000 years old, this is a fun read. The translation (by David Lear? Firestone Books, Early Science Fiction Series) seems to be faithful to the original Greek and much more readable than the older translations that are in the public domain. Also the naughty bits have not been bowdlerized. My son is reading this in the original Greek and finds the language and weird imagination of the story to be delightful.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    If I have to point out of the most influential books I've ever encountered, it was a book I got as a gift when I was 15 or 16 called the Dictionary of Imaginary Places. It was there that I found out about Jarry, Calvino, Eco, Karinthy, Bruno Schulz, and countless other literary oddballs, as well as Lucian and his odd fictional journeys, and whose DNA is integral to those aforementioned oddballs' work. Here was this completely bizarre picaresque that travels around our world and others, getting s If I have to point out of the most influential books I've ever encountered, it was a book I got as a gift when I was 15 or 16 called the Dictionary of Imaginary Places. It was there that I found out about Jarry, Calvino, Eco, Karinthy, Bruno Schulz, and countless other literary oddballs, as well as Lucian and his odd fictional journeys, and whose DNA is integral to those aforementioned oddballs' work. Here was this completely bizarre picaresque that travels around our world and others, getting stuck inside whales and what not, using that travel as a framework to satirize the pressing issues of his day (most of which are lost on the modern reader), written on the Syrian fringe of Greek civilization by an outspoken cynic. This is some out-there shit, and for that alone is worth the hour or so it'll take you to read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Bettie

    Love this nonchalant footnote within a footnote from a late 19th century edition of Lucian's Trips to the Moon from his True History (2nd century): 'The moon is not habitable.' Love this nonchalant footnote within a footnote from a late 19th century edition of Lucian's Trips to the Moon from his True History (2nd century): 'The moon is not habitable.'

  15. 4 out of 5

    Illiterate

    Lucian’s instructions and satires distinguish fact from fiction. Icaro is amazing; it assimilates philosophy to fiction.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Sidharth Vardhan

    The title 'True History' is is used very much in the sense of Barney Stinson's catch phrase 'true story'. The reading experience is something like tall tales of Baron Munchausen (the temptation to do a parody review was too strong) -there is same humor caused by the obvious nature of the lies. Except unlike Baron Munchausen, our narrator doesn't do great things, great things keep happening to him. A lot of the things in here are now science-fiction elements - flying ships, aliens, liquid air etc. The title 'True History' is is used very much in the sense of Barney Stinson's catch phrase 'true story'. The reading experience is something like tall tales of Baron Munchausen (the temptation to do a parody review was too strong) -there is same humor caused by the obvious nature of the lies. Except unlike Baron Munchausen, our narrator doesn't do great things, great things keep happening to him. A lot of the things in here are now science-fiction elements - flying ships, aliens, liquid air etc. In that way, it is quite ahead of its age. FOr example, sun and moon are treated as bodies having aliens - which is probably not true but far better than most writers of his time who treated them as individual gods. That is why I read it. I thought it was (oldest) science fiction. Most of world is reading 'The Martin' - I'm only 2200 years behind. However I'm not sure if it is science fiction. The expressed aim is satirizing famous Greek tall-tale tellers like Homer. Narrator's journey is a beck-benchor's parody of all that was ancient Greek including of famous Greek personalities like Socrates (who is constantly playing fool), Aristotle, Homer, Ulysses, Helen (she runs away - again) etc. It is good to see that ancient Greeks weren't without sense of humor.

  17. 4 out of 5

    RJ

    Very witty, very well-written, and very true. It's amazing how advanced in thinking these ancient civilizations were - and then how utterly and completely backwards society was within a few thousand years. Crazy how we're just now beginning to think the same things within the last few centuries... imagine how much progress the human race could have made if there hadn't been such destruction of knowledge by rival empires. Very witty, very well-written, and very true. It's amazing how advanced in thinking these ancient civilizations were - and then how utterly and completely backwards society was within a few thousand years. Crazy how we're just now beginning to think the same things within the last few centuries... imagine how much progress the human race could have made if there hadn't been such destruction of knowledge by rival empires.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Chalhoub

    The missing link between Ulysses and Alice in Wonderland. Would definitely recommend if you're a fan of over the top absurd journeys. The missing link between Ulysses and Alice in Wonderland. Would definitely recommend if you're a fan of over the top absurd journeys.

  19. 5 out of 5

    The Usual

    I suspect that someone, somewhere - a rather intimidating figure, fluent in classical Greek, well-versed in ancient literature and probably in possession of a time-machine- really loves and understands this book. They get the references, they get the jokes, and they probably roll on the floor laughing at them. I can understand that, because where I get the jokes and references I do find it very funny. Where I don't get the jokes and references it's just strange - which has a certain charm as wel I suspect that someone, somewhere - a rather intimidating figure, fluent in classical Greek, well-versed in ancient literature and probably in possession of a time-machine- really loves and understands this book. They get the references, they get the jokes, and they probably roll on the floor laughing at them. I can understand that, because where I get the jokes and references I do find it very funny. Where I don't get the jokes and references it's just strange - which has a certain charm as well. Of course in a thousand years' time someone will say the same thing of the Discworld novels (if they, and we, make it that far). What this is is not so much a precursor to science-fiction (you'd need to stretch the definition rather further than I'd be comfortable with) as a shortish satire on the extravagances of classical literature presented in the form of travel-writing. Think a bookish Gulliver's Travels. That means it's aged better than, say, Aristophanes (there's no need to grapple with Athenian internal politics to find it funny) or even Rabelais (who was certainly influenced by it). It also means that, yes, to really enjoy it you need to have read some very old books. Unless you like weirdness for its own sake. Who am I to judge?

  20. 4 out of 5

    Gitta

    When someone suggests you should read 'the first work to feature space travel, aliens and intergalactic warfare', it's nigh impossible to resist. With a little voice in the back of my head saying "he might be overselling it. After all, he wants you to read it.", I picked up his recommendation: Paul Turner's translation. From the first page onwards, Lucian's introduction, I knew this was going to be precious. If you are in any way familiar with stories of epic, and often fantastical, voyages, whe When someone suggests you should read 'the first work to feature space travel, aliens and intergalactic warfare', it's nigh impossible to resist. With a little voice in the back of my head saying "he might be overselling it. After all, he wants you to read it.", I picked up his recommendation: Paul Turner's translation. From the first page onwards, Lucian's introduction, I knew this was going to be precious. If you are in any way familiar with stories of epic, and often fantastical, voyages, whether it's The Odyssey, Gulliver's Travels, The Hobbit, or Jason and the Golden Fleece, you will enjoy the rich literary genre that Lucian is satirising. "I have found that a similar disregard for truth is quite common even among professional philosophers. My chief reaction is astonishment - that anyone should tell such lies and expect to get away with it. But if other people can do it, why should not I? For I too am vain enough to wish to leave some record of myself to posterity, and as no interesting experiences have ever come my way in real life, I have nothing true to write about. In one respect, however, I shall be a more honest liar than my predecessors, for I am telling you frankly, here an now, that I have no intention whatever of telling the truth. [...] I am writing about things entirely outside my own experience or anyone else's, things that have no reality whatever and never could have. So mind you do not believe a word I say." Turner's translation is has a remarkable contemporary feel to it and he has found a way to retain Lucian's puns by translating them into the English (making them easy to understand for those who do not possess Latin). He talks of 'salad-fowls' and 'a species of mermaid known as Assfeetida'. "There was no sign of Plato, and I was told later that he had gone to live in his Republic, where he was cheerfully submitting to his own Laws. [...] None of the Stoics were present. Rumour had it that they were still clambering up the steep hill of Virtue [...]. As for the Sceptics, it appeared that they were extremely anxious to get there, but still could not quite make up their minds whether or not the island really existed." Contrary to what you would expect from an almost 2000-year-old piece of 'science fiction', Lucian's satire contains nothing what would now be seen as seriously outdated. Leaving aside the fact that Neil Armstrong would disagree about a thing or two claims Lucian made and we modern readers now thing back to 20 July 1969 as 'long ago' (my parents were six at the time!). True History (or Trips to the Moon) is ridiculing epic voyages with a sense of humour that has stood the test of time. Quotes Some of which contain explicit content. "They see nothing indecent in sexual intercourse, whether heterosexual or homosexual, and indulge in it quite openly, in full view of everyone. The only exception was Socrates, who was always swearing that his relations with young men were purely Platonic, but nobody believed him for a moment, and Hyacinthus and Narcissus gave first-hand evidence to the contrary." "But as so often happens, this apparent change for the better was only the prelude to something infinitely worse. [...] [W]e suddenly saw a school of whales approaching from the East. The largest was about a hundred and seventy miles long, and he started coming towards us with his mouth open [...] We kissed one another goodbye and waited for the inevitable. The next moment he had gobbled us up, ship and all; but he never got a chance of chewing us, for the ship had slipped through one of the gaps between his teeth and sailed straight into his stomach." Rating Though Turner's translation is beautifully written, I have not taken language into account when I rated this - it remains a translated work. The structure too can only be judged fairly if compared with similar works: the epic or in this case pseudo-epic. The erratic, linear nature of this genre allows little to be said about. Yes, there is little to no character development. Yes, the characters disappear from the narrative. But that is all normative for this type of plot-driven adventure. It is not a character driven quest, like The Hobbit or Harry Potter. Thus, this work mainly has to be evaluated based on the ideas explored by the author. And for that alone, Lucian gets 4.5 stars. I knew Jules Verne had innovative ideas, but I never would have though an author of the second century CE would dare to write about space-travel, aliens, and intergalactic warfare. Nor did I guess that Carlo Collodi would have borrowed from Lucian when he wrote Pinocchio. All in all, Lucian's proto-science-fiction has influenced many if not, indirectly, all writers of the genre, which makes it a must read for readers of science fiction, adventure, the epic, and satire (did I leave anyone out?)

  21. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    Introduction for Writing History was okay. Some useful advice like 'don't confuse history with poetry' and 'no one likes when a writer sucks up to his patron too much–it's not history. Have you tried not having a patron?' Then True History is uses the prior criticisms to create a story to show how not to write a history. Then the last part is a dialogue between one Menippus and a friend. Menippus relates how he contrived a Daedalusesque contraption to do some flying of his own. He goes to the Mo Introduction for Writing History was okay. Some useful advice like 'don't confuse history with poetry' and 'no one likes when a writer sucks up to his patron too much–it's not history. Have you tried not having a patron?' Then True History is uses the prior criticisms to create a story to show how not to write a history. Then the last part is a dialogue between one Menippus and a friend. Menippus relates how he contrived a Daedalusesque contraption to do some flying of his own. He goes to the Moon and the Moon complains about all the philosophers (they end up there in the afterlife), so Menippus agrees to take the Moon's complaints to Jupiter, who comes up with a compromise. It's a terrible translation bordering on unreadable. Thanks a lot, Thomas Francklin, 1780. The worst is in True History, when the names of the fantastic creatures are given in transliterated Greek with minimal description and you have to go to the footnotes (not added until 1887!) to get an explanation. Though I did like learning the word pismire, an old word for anthill, from the words 'piss' (which apparently is what anthills smell like, according to the Oxford dictionary built into my kindle? I've never noticed, but then I try not to spend too much time around anthills; or maybe with the bad sanitation back in the day people used to piss in them and so they stank, and now they don't smell so bad because we have indoor plumbing) and 'mire', an old word for ant. So there you have it. His tips for writing history aren't very useful almost two millennia on, but here he reminds us not to fall for Fake News: (view spoiler)[All this, however, with regard to style and composition, may be borne with, but when they misinform us about places, and make mistakes, not of a few leagues, but whole day’s journeys, what shall we say to such historians? One of them, who never, we may suppose, so much as conversed with a Syrian, or picked up anything concerning them in the barbers’ {40} shop, when he speaks of Europus, tells us, “it is situated in Mesopotamia, two days’ journey from Euphrates, and was built by the Edessenes.” Not content with this, the same noble writer has taken away my poor country, Samosata, and carried it off, tower, bulwarks, and all, to Mesopotamia, where he says it is shut up between two rivers, which at least run close to, if they do not wash the walls of it. After this, it would be to no purpose, my dear Philo, for me to assure you that I am not from Parthia, nor do I belong to Mesopotamia, of which this admirable historian has thought fit to make me an inhabitant. (hide spoiler)] (view spoiler)[Others there are who, from ignorance and want of skill, not knowing what should be mentioned, and what passed over in silence, entirely omit or slightly run through things of the greatest consequence, and most worthy of attention, whilst they most copiously describe and dwell upon trifles; which is just as absurd as it would be not to take notice of or admire the wonderful beauty of the Olympian Jupiter, {43} and at the same time to be lavish in our praises of the fine polish, workmanship, and proportion of the base and pedestal. I remember one of these who despatches the battle at Europus in seven lines, and spends some hundreds in a long frigid narration, that is nothing to the purpose, showing how “a certain Moorish cavalier, wandering on the mountains in search of water, lit on some Syrian rustics, who helped him to a dinner; how they were afraid of him at first, but afterwards became intimately acquainted with him, and received him with hospitality; for one of them, it seems, had been in Mauritania, where his brother bore arms.” Then follows a long tale, “how he hunted in Mauritania, and saw several elephants feeding together; how he had like to have been devoured by a lion; and how many fish he bought at Cæsarea.” This admirable historian takes no notice of the battle, the attacks or defences, the truces, the guards on each side, or anything else; but stands from morning to night looking upon Malchion, the Syrian, who buys cheap fish at Cæsarea: if night had not come on, I suppose he would have supped there, as the chars {44} were ready. If these things had not been carefully recorded in the history we should have been sadly in the dark, and the Romans would have had an insufferable loss, if Mausacas, the thirsty Moor, could have found nothing to drink, or returned to the camp without his supper; not to mention here, what is still more ridiculous, as how “a piper came up to them out of the neighbouring village, and how they made presents to each other, Mausacas giving Malchion a spear, and Malchion presenting Mausacas with a buckle.” Such are the principal occurrences in the history of the battle of Europus. One may truly say of such writers that they never saw the roses on the tree, but took care to gather the prickles that grew at the bottom of it. (hide spoiler)] I liked this: (view spoiler)[The only business of the historian is to relate things exactly as they are: this he can never do as long as he is afraid of Artaxerxes, whose physician {55a} he is; as long as he looks for the purple robe, the golden chain, or the Nisæan horse, {55b} as the reward of his labours; but Xenophon, that just writer, will not do this, nor Thucydides. The good historian, though he may have private enmity against any man, will esteem the public welfare of more consequence to him, and will prefer truth to resentment; and, on the other hand, be he ever so fond of any man, will not spare him when he is in the wrong; for this, as I before observed, is the most essential thing in history, to sacrifice to truth alone, and cast away all care for everything else. The great universal rule and standard is, to have regard not to those who read now, but to those who are to peruse our works hereafter. To speak impartially, the historians of former times were too often guilty of flattery, and their works were little better than games and sports, the effects of art. (hide spoiler)] An anecdote about longterm thinking, which Lucian says a is a good attribute of historians: (view spoiler)[Recollect the story of the Cnidian architect, when he built the tower in Pharos, where the fire is kindled to prevent mariners from running on the dangerous rocks of Parætonia, that most noble and most beautiful of all works; he carved his own name on a part of the rock on the inside, then covered it over with mortar, and inscribed on it the name of the reigning sovereign: well knowing that, as it afterwards happened, in a short space of time these letters would drop off with the mortar, and discover under it this inscription: “Sostratus the Cnidian, son of Dexiphanes, to those gods who preserve the mariner.” Thus had he regard not to the times he lived in, not to his own short existence, but to the present period, and to all future ages, even as long as his tower shall stand, and his art remain upon earth. Thus also should history be written, rather anxious to gain the approbation of posterity by truth and merit, than to acquire present applause by adulation and falsehood. (hide spoiler)] Bird's-eye view: (view spoiler)[when after all, to me, who looked from above, Greece was but four fingers in breadth, and Attica a very small portion of it indeed. I could not but think how little these rich men had to be proud of; he who was lord of the most extensive country owned a spot that appeared to me about as large as one of Epicurus’s atoms. When I looked down upon Peloponnesus, and beheld Cynuria, {176a} I reflected with astonishment on the number of Argives and Lacedemonians who fell in one day, fighting for a piece of land no bigger than an Egyptian lentil; and when I saw a man brooding over his gold, and boasting that he had got four cups or eight rings, I laughed most heartily at him: whilst the whole Pangæus, {176b} with all its mines, seemed no larger than a grain of millet. (hide spoiler)] Myrmidon origin story gets even more sordid: (view spoiler)[recollect, if you please, the ancient Thessalian fables, and you will find that the Myrmidons, {177} a most warlike nation, sprung originally from pismires. (hide spoiler)] Two fantastic footnotes from the 1780 translation, with an update from the 1887 edition: (view spoiler)[{83a} Modern astronomers are, I, think, agreed, that we are to the moon just the same as the moon is to us. Though Lucian’s history may be false, therefore his philosophy, we see, was true (1780). (The moon is not habitable, 1887.) {83b} This I am afraid, is not so agreeable to the modern system; our philosophers all asserting that the sun is not habitable. As it is a place, however, which we are very little acquainted with, they may be mistaken, and Lucian may guess as well as ourselves, for aught we can prove to the contrary. (hide spoiler)]

  22. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    The most common title for this work is actually "True History". "A True Story" and "Trips to the Moon" are lesser-used titles. The Gutenberg English translation (translation by Thomas Francklin, intro by Henry Morley) is here: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/10430 although another reviewer notes that it may not be accurate. I have not yet read this. Nearly all of what I can find sold as an individual book (eBook or print) under the title "Trips to the Moon" is actually the Francklin translation. Af The most common title for this work is actually "True History". "A True Story" and "Trips to the Moon" are lesser-used titles. The Gutenberg English translation (translation by Thomas Francklin, intro by Henry Morley) is here: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/10430 although another reviewer notes that it may not be accurate. I have not yet read this. Nearly all of what I can find sold as an individual book (eBook or print) under the title "Trips to the Moon" is actually the Francklin translation. After doing some more research, I've found that there are of course a lot of translations. I found a very good list at the top of this page at University of Pennsylvania. Some I found on my own on Google Books: Francklin (no need to post, see Gutenberg link above) Wieland Fowler & Fowler Hickes Of these, Fowler & Fowler seems to be the most pleasant to read and it was reprinted by Kessinger Publishing as part of "Works Volume 2" in 2004, although I have no idea how accurate it is compared to the others. Perhaps it's time to learn Greek and read the original. (ha!) The cheapest way I've found to obtain the Fowler & Fowler translation of "True History" is to read it for free online. (For $0.99 here's the Kindle eBook.) For print there are lots of options, just search your favorite store for "samosata fowler". For example: The Works of Lucian of Samosata: Complete with Exceptions Specified in the Preface, currently $21.95 on Amazon's US site. Still looking to see if I can find it in print for less...

  23. 4 out of 5

    Wreade1872

    Absurd travelogue in the vain of the Odyssey, voyages of sindbad, or the later reports of Mandeville and Raleigh but with the honesty to admit it's all nonsense. Some familiarity with the Odyssey might be of benefit, theres clearly some satire going on but a lot of it is hard to be sure of after so many centuries. Still this is a pretty fun short read, things like this can be a bit too random and surreal for my taste but this moved along quick enough from incident to incident to keep my interest Absurd travelogue in the vain of the Odyssey, voyages of sindbad, or the later reports of Mandeville and Raleigh but with the honesty to admit it's all nonsense. Some familiarity with the Odyssey might be of benefit, theres clearly some satire going on but a lot of it is hard to be sure of after so many centuries. Still this is a pretty fun short read, things like this can be a bit too random and surreal for my taste but this moved along quick enough from incident to incident to keep my interest. The illustrations by aubrey beardsley and others in the version i read, added a certain weird charm of their own to the proceedings.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Jones

    I saw that this story is sometimes credited as the first published science fiction book and from what I've seen of other readers it can be a toss up. I can see the same elements as a science fiction story with the space traveling, but there isn't any science involved with how they go about their journey. I think it much more fantasy than sci-fi, but the author did influence a lot of future sci-fi authors. The story is actually pretty funny to me. A lot of ridiculousness going on and he also says I saw that this story is sometimes credited as the first published science fiction book and from what I've seen of other readers it can be a toss up. I can see the same elements as a science fiction story with the space traveling, but there isn't any science involved with how they go about their journey. I think it much more fantasy than sci-fi, but the author did influence a lot of future sci-fi authors. The story is actually pretty funny to me. A lot of ridiculousness going on and he also says that this is a true story in the beginning, but is making fun of stories past that were "true stories." I very much enjoyed it though!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Nemanja

    This book can be considered one of the first works of satire, in which Lucian satirizes the works of great writers of Ancient Greece, who swore their stories to be true. Lucian is plainly stating at the beginning of his work that all he is writing about is nothing but a lie, a fantasy. He writes concisely, uses sharp humor and states many references to Antique. His main character embarks on an unbelievable journey, on the sea, in space, in the lands of strange creatures and even the dead (arguab This book can be considered one of the first works of satire, in which Lucian satirizes the works of great writers of Ancient Greece, who swore their stories to be true. Lucian is plainly stating at the beginning of his work that all he is writing about is nothing but a lie, a fantasy. He writes concisely, uses sharp humor and states many references to Antique. His main character embarks on an unbelievable journey, on the sea, in space, in the lands of strange creatures and even the dead (arguably the best part, where he meets many Greek heroes and writers who he openly mocks).

  26. 4 out of 5

    Marc

    Beautiful example of satire full of imagination and absurd humor. But this comes with a vengeance: it is necessary to have some cultural and historical knowledge of antiquity. Huge influence on other works of imagination: Moby Dick, Utopia, Gullivers Travels and so on.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tasha

    The more things change, the more elitist d-bags stay the same. Apparently.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Brown

    A refreshingly modern tale, poking fun at other writers, and a very early example of a shaggy-dog story.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Forked Radish

    Incorporates "Trips to the moon" The first and one of the best sci-fi stories ever written, an inspiration for thousands of writers to come, from Dante to Rowling. Incorporates "Trips to the moon" The first and one of the best sci-fi stories ever written, an inspiration for thousands of writers to come, from Dante to Rowling.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Noah Goats

    I read this because I've read in a few places that it is the oldest science fiction story in the world. This claim rests on the part of the True History where the heroes are blown to the moon in a whirlwind. They meet the strange creatures living on the moon, and get involved in war between the moon people and the sun people, but none of this is science fiction as far as I can tell. The True History fits squarely in the tradition of mythology and fantasy. Lucian's work is a satire, but almost all I read this because I've read in a few places that it is the oldest science fiction story in the world. This claim rests on the part of the True History where the heroes are blown to the moon in a whirlwind. They meet the strange creatures living on the moon, and get involved in war between the moon people and the sun people, but none of this is science fiction as far as I can tell. The True History fits squarely in the tradition of mythology and fantasy. Lucian's work is a satire, but almost all of the humor has been lost over time. As a modern reader I only caught occasional glances of it. It has not aged as well as the satires of Juvenal which still have a remarkable bit to them, or the satires of Horace (which have probably benefited from better translators) which still retain a winning elegance. But I gave this book four stars because it is somehow so different from anything else I have ever read in ancient literature. Lucian is entertainingly creative with his moon people, his world within a whale, and his version of the Happy Isles. I also appreciated the footnotes which were helpful in understanding parts of the text. I would recommend this book, but only to people who are into this kind of thing.

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