Lucian of Samosata

c.125-c.190. Pagan satirist. Originally a lawyer in Antioch, he turned to that literary creativity in which he was unrivaled by any but Aristophanes. He became well known as a traveling lecturer through Greece, to Rome and beyond, and is a significant witness to human affairs in that urban society of the Greco-Roman world wherein Christianity found its place and began its growth. His satires penetrate into mystery cults, expose religious frauds, and reveal the skepticism of traditional modes of life and thought. Twice he pointed to Christianity, and while his view was that of an outsider, it cannot be said that he was the blasphemer which a later Christian age made him out to be. Christians, with Epicureans, are identified as opponents of the fraudulent prophet Alexander. In order to account for their victimization at the hands of the unscrupulous Peregrinus, he summarizes their behavior in a fashion not far from the Acts portrait of their communal life.