The True History

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate April 2001

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The True History In the story, The True History, I was fascinated with the fact that Lucian of Samosata told the story as if these things really had happened to him but on the other hand in the beginning he told us that he was a liar. This truly fascinated me. I would expect this to make people not want to read this. My biggest question is why would he let people know that he was lying. It could be because he story was just really unbelievable or he was just trying to be truthful. I truly think it is because this story is so unbelievable. In my paper I will try to give you evidence in which why I think he told us that he was a liar, was due to the fact that his story is so unbelievable; not because he was trying to be nice.

Unbelievable is kind of an understatement for this story.

From the very beginning the story was unfolding to be a bunch of bull. The first island that they came upon ran rivers of wine and the fish they ate were full of wine they would get intoxicated from them. Then a sudden waterspout would send them 350 miles above earth. People from the moon would sweat milk. They got swallowed up by a whale and they spent 27 years inside this whale. They came upon islands of cork and cheese. These are just a few things that happened to this crew. These things would definitely make the reader question whether or not the author was telling the truth. These things are impossible. I think that Lucian told the readers he was a liar in the beginning so that the readers would not get frustrated with him.

To tell the truth at some points I was getting pretty frustrated, even though I knew he was lying. Some of the things he mentions are totally ridiculous. For example horse vultures, horse ants, and sky gnats were some creatures he came across. Men would sweat milk and their mucus was pungent honey. They used onion oil as a fragrance. Now this was beginning to get to me and I was getting frustrated.

This was pretty much unusual back then to tell us if you were lying to your reader or not. Authors back then wanted to get the reader to believe and understand his or her writing. Not Lucian. When he told us straight out that he was a liar this must have confused tons and tons of people, including me that is why I am now trying to find evidence why he did this. Wouldn't you want people to be interested in your story and actually believe it? Some people may have just stopped reading it when they saw it was a lie because some people like to read only non-fiction information. They don't want to read something that is being told to them that is a lie.

Lucian of Samosata may have just wanted to be truthful and tell us straight out that it wasn't true so that people wouldn't get into it so much and actually believe it. If he had not told us some people may have believed this and could have gotten really mad a t Lucian for writing a false story. In telling us he was a liar, he is almost saving his tail from being chewed out. But as we look at it now we think of what an idiot would do this and ruin the whole surprise for everyone. You rarely see this now days, actually this is the only time I have ever seen this.

Lucian's voyage, I think, was written so people can stretch their imagination. A story like this would really stretch someone's imagination. So did Lucian reach his goal? I think so. Not only my imagination was stretched I'm sure all of my classmates and everyone else who read it had theirs stretched.

Although some people think that Lucian told us the truth because he was just trying to be truthful I believe he told us this because his story was just so unbelievable, as I stated above. These voyages were not even a little bit true. They were all ridiculously false and were getting kind of stupid at some points. But I enjoyed it because it was something different to read it wasn't all non-fiction stuff.

In conclusion, I think that Lucian told us off the bat that he was a liar because of how unbelievable the story was, not because he was trying to be a nice and truthful guy. His stories were unbelievable therefore this is why I think he did that.

I would recommend this book to people who like to get away form all the serious reading people do today. This book lets you and your imagination go way beyond its limits. It is almost relaxing for some people. This book actually made me laugh out loud to myself sometimes. What other books, besides joke books would do this to you? It's fairly short and if your not busy for and hour then sit down and read Lucian of Samosata's The True History. It's a little bit unbelievable but hey so isn't most of what comes on the television.