The Vera historia behind Lucian’s relationship with Homer
Russell-Schlesinger, Charles Haas
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Lucian was not the first writer to address the Homeric poems in his works. Instead, he was part of a proud tradition that dates back nearly as far as the epics themselves. However, the role of Homer in Vera Historia is unique from these other works, including the rest of Lucianic corpus, because it features not only quotes and allusions to the national epics but also Homer as a character. Lucian employs this relationship with Homer in order to elevate his own status as an author as well as to create a place for his novel in the literary world. Furthermore, the specific manner in which the genre of Vera Historia relates to epic demonstrates this work’s particular role in creating a new Greek cultural identity out of the “classical” past.