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Lucian of Samosata (2nd century AD) is best known for his humorous and satirical works. However, he also produced the only surviving treatise from antiquity dealing extensively and explicitly with historiography and its rules. Accordingly, this work is regarded as an important source for the study of ancient historiography.
However, especially with Lucian as the author, it is far from certain that the primary aim of the treatise is, in fact, to educate its readers in the art of historiography. This study aims at tackling this question by reading â€œHow to write historyâ€ not within the historiographical discourse, but rather as part of Lucianâ€™s literary game. As an author of the Second Sophistic, Lucian succeeds in amusing his audience under the guise of historiographical teaching.
In connection with two other works by Lucian, a picture emerges of an author who is not only proficient in the classical canon. Rather, by staging the classics and parading his contemporaries, he is able to combine his criticisms with humour. Historiography in â€œHow to write historyâ€, elegant narration in the â€œTrue historiesâ€, and as the gullibility of his contemporaries in â€œAlexanderâ€ all serve Lucianâ€™s aim of distancing himself and his readers from would-be educated people and impostors. Thus, the literary game can be seen as a tool for self-confidence and distinction within the Second Sophistic.
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keywordsAltertumswissenschaft Antike Geschichtsschreibung Geschichtswissenschaft Griechische Literatur Literatur Literaturwissenschaft Römische Kaiserzeit
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