This site represents a thorough revision by Eric Casey of the print edition of Lucian's True Histories by Stephen Nimis and Evan Hayes. The main changes are as follows:

  • notes have been thoroughly re-written to provide more grammatical discussion, in addition to the identification of forms
  • the vocabulary lists are now carefully vetted to make sure that the contextually appropriate definition appears, and that words in the DCC core vocabulary are excluded
  • citations to the Greek grammars of Smyth and Goodell have been added, and linked to online versions
  • the text itself has been modified in certain cases, after the consultation of Macleod's OCT

Explanations of standard Attic constructions have been kept to a minimum with the Smyth and Goodell citations providing an opportunity for students to get into the good habit of consulting standard Greek grammars. We believe this will make the learning process more active and it also will encourage students to delve beyond the name for a given construction. Unusual or elaborate constructions are explained directly here on the site but care has also been taken here to point students to the relevant sections of Smyth and Goodell.

What follows is an adaptation of Nimis and Hayes' introductory material:

The aim of this edition is to make Lucian's True Histories accessible to intermediate students of Ancient Greek. The running vocabulary and commentary are meant to provide everything necessary to read each page. The commentary is almost exclusively grammatical, explaining subordinate clauses, conditions, etc., and explaining unusual verb forms. The running vocabularies gloss all but the most common words. We have endeavored to make these glossaries as useful as possible without becoming fulsome. There is a list of verbs used by Lucian that have unusual forms in an appendix. The principal parts of those verbs are given there rather than in the running vocabularies.

We have provided brief explanations of allusions and proper names, but the commentary by Aristoula Georgiadou and David H.J. Larmour (Lucian's science fiction novel, True Histories: Interpretation and Commentary. Leiden: Brill, 1998) can be consulted for more details on the literary character of the work, and those authors include a generous bibliography of critical studies of Lucian.

The Greek text

The Greek text contained in this volume is based on the Loeb edition of Lucian, first published in 1921 and now in the public domain. This text was scanned in 2003 and has appeared on several web pages. We have corrected as many of the inevitable errors introduced by the scanning process as we could find, and also made a few minor changes to the Loeb text itself. This is not a scholarly edition; for that the reader is referred to the OCT edited by M. D. Macleod. Keith Sidwell includes some selections from A True Story in his intermediate reader, Lucian: Selections (Bristol: Bristol Classical Press, 1986). The bowdlerized version of C. S. Jerram (1879) with grammatical notes has been reprinted as Luciani Vera Historia (Wauconda: Bolchazy-Carducci Publishers, 1990). Selections of some other dialogues by Lucian have been presented with extensive literary commentary by Neil Hopkinson in the Cambridge Greek and Latin series (Lucian: A Selection. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008).

How to use this edition

The presentation assumes the reader has a basic acquaintance with Greek grammar. Verbs, being a special problem in Greek, have been treated more fully than other parts of speech. A good strategy for attacking a text like this is to read a section of the Greek to get as much out of it as possible, then to look at the below for unrecognized vocabulary items, and lastly to consult the commentary. 


Suggested Citation