Imperial Acculturation: The Lucianic Corpus as a Study in Satire, Mimesis, and Cultural Identity

Student Author(s)

James Engels

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Stephen Maiullo

Document Type


Event Date



Lucian of Samosata (c.125 – c.180) is one of the most celebrated authors of the Second Sophistic and Imperial Greek literature. Since his death, he has achieved notoriety and praise for his ability to combine genres coherently and for his wit, caustic humor, and literary prowess. The hallmark of his genius, however, was his use of mimesis and the traditions of the Epic, Herodotean history, Platonic dialogue, and Menippean satire to sharply critique the Greek and Roman society of the Second Sophistic, in particular, his tendency to use source material in lampooning source material in an act of meta-mimesis. I will examine his motivation, influences, and literary personae through his mimesis of the traditions in history, comedy, and epic poetry, and attempt to present a coherent analysis of Lucian within his social and literary contexts.

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