1.3

<οἷον> Κτησίας ὁ Κτησιόχου ὁ Κνίδιος, ὃς συνέγραψεν περὶ τῆς Ἰνδῶν χώρας καὶ τῶν παρ᾽ αὐτοῖς ἃ μήτε αὐτὸς εἶδεν μήτε ἄλλου ἀληθεύοντος ἤκουσεν. ἔγραψε δὲ καὶ Ἰαμβοῦλος περὶ τῶν ἐν τῇ μεγάλῃ θαλάττῃ πολλὰ παράδοξα, γνώριμον μὲν ἅπασι τὸ ψεῦδος πλασάμενος, οὐκ ἀτερπῆ δὲ ὅμως συνθεὶς τὴν ὑπόθεσιν. πολλοὶ δὲ καὶ ἄλλοι τὰ αὐτὰ τούτοις προελόμενοι συνέγραψαν ὡς δή τινας ἑαυτῶν πλάνας τε καὶ ἀποδημίας, θηρίων τε μεγέθη ἱστοροῦντες καὶ ἀνθρώπων ὠμότητας καὶ βίων καινότητας· ἀρχηγὸς δὲ αὐτοῖς καὶ διδάσκαλος τῆς τοιαύτης βωμολοχίας ὁ τοῦ Ὁμήρου Ὀδυσσεύς, τοῖς περὶ τὸν Ἀλκίνουν διηγούμενος ἀνέμων τε δουλείαν καὶ μονοφθάλμους καὶ ὠμοφάγους καὶ ἀγρίους τινὰς ἀνθρώπους, ἔτι δὲ πολυκέφαλα ζῷα καὶ τὰς ὑπὸ φαρμάκων τῶν ἑταίρων μεταβολάς, οἷα πολλὰ ἐκεῖνος πρὸς ἰδιώτας ἀνθρώπους τοὺς Φαίακας ἐτερατεύσατο.

οἷον: "for example" (angular brackets in text indicate this is a scholar's suggested addition for the opening of this sentence).

Κτησίας ὁ Κνίδιος: Ctesias of Cnidos, fifth-century author of a lost History of India, which contained accounts of fantastic creatures. He reappears later in A True Story being punished in the hereafter.

ἄλλου ἀληθεύοντος: "another telling the truth," gen. after ἤκουσεν Ἰαμβοῦλος: Iambulus is the author of a lost narrative (written between 165 and 50 BCE) about a fabulous trip in the Indian Ocean, summarized by Diodorus Siculus (2.55-60).

γνώριμον μὲν ἅπασι τὸ ψεῦδος πλασάμενος, οὐκ ἀτερπῆ δὲ ὅμως συνθεὶς τὴν σύνθεσιν: "having fashioned a lie that is obvious to everyone while creating a composition that is nonetheless not unpleasant" (note the litotes).

συνθείς: aor. act. part. nom. sg. of συντίθημι, "having composed."

τὰ αὐτὰ τούτοις προελόμενοι: (aor. mid. part. of προαιρέω) "having undertaken (to do) the same as these."

ὡς δή: "as though."

τοῖς περὶ τὸν Ἀλκίνουν: "King Alkinous and those with him," the Phaeacians, who were the audience of Odysseus in Odyssey books 9-12.

μονοφθάλμους καὶ ὠμοφάγους: one-eyed flesh-eaters, the Cyclopes of Odyssey 9.

πολυκέφαλα ζῷα: "many-headed beasts," like Scylla.

ὑπὸ φαρμάκων...μεταβολάς: "transformations by drugs," such as Circe in Odyssey 10.

οἷα πολλά ἐκεῖνος...ἐτερατεύσατο: "many such marvels did he speak of (to the Phaeacians)," indirect exclamation (S. 2685).

VERB LIST

Κνίδιος, -ή, -όν: Cnidian, from Cnidos

συγγράφω: write, compose a work

Ἰνδός, -ή, -όν: Indian, from India 

ἀληθεύω: speak truth

παράδοξος, -ον: contrary to opinion, incredible, paradoxical

γνώριμος, -ον, -η, -ον: well-known, familiar

ψεῦδος, -ους, τό: a falsehood, untruth, lie

πλάσσω: form, create; metaph. fabricate

ἀτερπής, -ές: unpleasing, joyless, melancholy

συντίθημι: put together

ὑπόθεσις, -εως, ἡ: composition

προαιρέω: bring forth, choose; undertake

συγγράφω: write, compose a work

πλάνη, ἡ: a wandering, roaming

ἀποδημία, ἡ: a being from home, a going abroad

θηρίον, τό: a wild animal, beast

ἱστορέω: record, give an account of

ὠμότης, -ητος, ἡ: rawness; metaph. cruelty, savagery

καινότης, -ητος, ἡ: newness, freshness; in pl. novelties

ἀρχηγός, -όν: founder, leader

διδάσκαλος, ὁ: teacher, master

βωμολοχία, ἡ: buffoonery, ribaldry

διηγέομαι: set out in detail, describe in full

ἄνεμος, ὁ: wind

δουλεία, ἡ: servitude, slavery

μονόφθαλμος, -ον: one-eyed

ὠμοφάγος, -ον: flesh-eating

ἄγριος, -α, -ον: wild, savage

πολυκέφαλος, -ον: many-headed

φάρμακον, τό: a drug, medicine; enchanted potion; poison

ἑταῖρος, ὁ: a comrade, companion, mate

μεταβολή, ἡ: change

ἰδιώτης, -ου, ὁ: individual, simpleton

Φαίαξ, ακος, ὁ: a Phaeacian

τερατεύομαι: talk marvels; beguile

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Suggested Citation

Eric Casey, Stephen Nimis, and Evan Hayes, Lucian: True History, Book 1. Carlisle, Pennsylvania: Dickinson College Commentaries, 2014. ISBN: 978-1-947822-05-4. https://dcc.dickinson.edu/lucian-true/book-1/1-3