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The Gods of Ancient GreeceIdentities and Transformations$
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Jan Bremmer and Andrew Erskine

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780748637980

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748637980.001.0001

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Lucian's Gods: Lucian's Understanding of the Divine

Lucian's Gods: Lucian's Understanding of the Divine

(p.348) 17 Lucian's Gods: Lucian's Understanding of the Divine
The Gods of Ancient Greece

Jan N. Bremmer

Andrew Erskine

Edinburgh University Press

There has been one thorough examination of Lucian’s religious beliefs. Its author came to the conclusion that Lucian was an outright atheist. It is not at all easy to say what Lucian’s views are on any subject, let alone religion, for the very simple reason that it is hard to tell when Lucian is speaking in his own voice and is expressing views that are his own. The repeated expression of certain positions by Lucian himself and by what would seem to be sympathetic voices do suggest that Lucian believed the divine to be an all-good, all-giving entity that was completely self-sufficient and so was deaf to the blandishments of prayer and sacrifice.

Keywords:   Lucian, Concept of the divine, Prayer, Sacrifice, Atheism

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