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Lucian of Samosata

Lucian of Samosata ( Λουκιανὸς ὁ Σαμοσατεύς ) - Syrian author ( Greek language ) - c.125-after 180


True History ( Ἀληθῆ διηγήματα ) ( also known as ‘Trip to the Moon’ ) - 2nd century AD

synopsis
Lucian and a company of heroes sail westward through the Pillars of Hercules to explore the lands and inhabitants beyond the Ocean. They are blown off course and come to an island. This is home to a river of wine filled with fish and a marker indicating that Heracles and Dionysos have traveled to this point. They leave the island and are lifted up by a whirlwind which deposits them on the Moon. There they find themselves embroiled in a war between the king of the Moon and the king of the Sun over colonisation of the Morning Star, the armies include stalk-and-mushroom men, acorn-dogs ( “dog-faced men fighting on winged acorns” ), and cloud-centaurs. The Sun, Moon, stars and planets are portrayed as locales with unique geographic details and inhabitants. The war is won by the Sun’s armies clouding the Moon over. Details of the Moon follow. Returning to Earth, the adventurers become trapped in a giant whale where there live many groups of people whom they rout in war. They reach a sea of milk, an island of cheese and the isle of the blessed. There Lucian meets the heroes of the Trojan War and even Homer. They find Herodotus being eternally punished for the “lies” he published in his Histories.
After leaving they deliver a letter to Calypso given to them by Odysseus explaining that he wishes he had stayed with her so he could have lived eternally. They then discover a chasm in the Ocean, sail around it and discover a far-off continent. The book ends abruptly with Lucian saying that their adventures will be the subject of following books.


http://www.gutenberg.org/files/10430/10430-h/10430-h.htm
Page last modified on Sunday 25 of May, 2014 18:55:50 UTC

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