A Greek-educated Syrian, Lucian was one of the most inventive and scathing satirists of the ancient world, whose witty pieces demonstrate a profound scepticism for religion and philosophy and encourage honest living and good sense.
'Chattering Courtesans' is a series of short dialogues in which the amusing gossip of "kept women" gives rise to a discussion of more serious subjects such as love, sex and marriage. Other comic dialogues in this volume show Lucian making fun of fanaticism and mocking pretension, hypocrisy and the vanity of human wealth and power, while in the 'Diatribes' he targets a range of subjects, from scandal and money to death, to demonstrate the follies of contemporary life.
In this new translation, Keith Sidwell captures Lucian's lively informal humour and the rich variety of styles he adopted. The introduction discusses the influence of earlier Greek writers and philosophers on Lucian's work, its range and diversity, and its importance in later European culture.