FOR the details of Lucian's life we are thrown back upon the casual or explicit references to his career in his own writings. From his contemporaries or from later writers we obtain little or nothing8 that is tangible. We do not know the exact dates of his birth and death but we are in a position to make a fairly clear sketch of some of the external facts of his life and we are able with reasonable certainty to fill in still more of the inner development of his mind and character.
Lucian was born, probably about 120 to 125 A.D.,9 in Samosata on the Euphrates. This provincial town, capital of Commagene, the extreme northeast portion of Syria, was not without importance as commanding the passage of the Euphrates River on one of the great trade routes to the Orient. The district, first subjected to Roman control in 18 A.D., had, after various vicissitudes, been made by Vespasian permanently a province of the Roman Empire. The population, however, was mainly Syrian, and Lucian, with the semi-defiance usual with