IN THE case of authorship antedating the honest confessional of the footnote or the scholar's page, sicklied o'er with conscientious references, the identification of indebtedness, varying from conjecture to certainty, is a fascinating and, at times, an illuminating pursuit.
Fully to tabulate Lucian's obligations to predecessors and, perhaps, to contemporaries is not now practicable. He is openly proud of his debt to classic Greek writers but is normally reticent about obligations to Roman predecessors, or to contemporaries, whether Greek or Roman. His writings abound in parodies, full quotation, and interwoven scraps of citation. In all this the intended effect would depend largely upon the instant recognition by his audience of the original. For example, the second Dialogue of the Sea, except for those familiar with the Odyssey, would lack mean-