Lucian's Science Fiction Novel True Histories: Interpretation and Commentary

Interpretation and Commentary


This is the first substantial commentary on Lucian's Verae Historiae ("True Histories"), a fantastic journey narrative considered the earliest surviving example of Science Fiction in the Western tradition. The Introduction situates the work in the context of Lucian's oeuvre, especially his preoccupation with distinguishing truth from fiction and exposing the lies of philosophers. In their commentary, the editors trace the sources and the meaning of the numerous intertextual allusions and parodies of philosophers, poets, historians and paradoxographers. The Verae Historiae emerges from this scrutiny as a remarkably complex text with some very "modern" concerns: it problematizes the act of reading, allegorical interpretation, authorial reliability, and the validity of cultural norms and literary genres.


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Biographical Note

Aristoula Georgiadou, Ph.D. (1990), University of Illinois, is Assistant Professor of Classics at Penn State University. She has published extensively on Plutarch and Lucian, and is currently completing A Historical and Philological Commentary on Plutarch's "Life of Pelopidas". David H.J. Larmour, Ph.D. (1987), University of Illinois, is Associate Professor of Classics and Comparative Literature at Texas Tech University. He has published on Lucian, Plutarch, Juvenal and Nabokov and edited Russian Literature and the Classics ( Harwood, 1996).

Review Quote

' G. & L. can be extremely enlightening in their analysis.' Tim Whitmarsh, The Classical Review, 1999.


All those interested in Lucian, the Second Sopistic, the genres of parody and satire, philosophy, historiography and Science Fiction, as well as classical philologists.