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Ἀληθῆ διηγήματα


Added Tue, 19/12/2017
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Ἀληθῆ διηγήματα

The work of Lucian of Samosata (an ancient Greek writer who lived (about 120 - after 180 AD)) "True Story", describing, in particular, a trip to the Moon and Venus, had a significant impact on the formation of such a literary genre as science fiction. Usually this work is referred to as "the first known text that can be called science fiction," but it is not really such, because it was written in response to the work of Antonius Diogenes, whose protagonist also reached the Moon. Lucian's work is satirical in nature, it ridicules the author's contemporaries who write in their works about places they have never been, passing it off as personal experience, as well as describing fantastic and mythical events as the truth:

These include, for example, the Cnidian Ctesias, the son of Ctesiochus, who wrote about the country of the Indus and their life, although he himself had never been there and had not heard a single true story about them.

The author himself openly writes that his story is pure fiction, and is needed only for entertainment and recreation.

The work contains the following ideas typical of science fiction:

  • journey into space;
  • meeting with alien life forms;
  • interplanetary war and imperialism;
  • colonization of planets;
  • artificial atmosphere;
  • liquid air;
  • reflecting telescope;
  • the motive of gigantism;
  • description of creatures as products of human technology (robots);
  • worlds working on the basis of alternative laws of physics.

Despite the fabulousness of the narrative, for the II century AD, this is quite a good fantastic work. There is no direct mention of aliens on Earth or their spaceships, but clearly and variously mentions not only the habitability of other celestial bodies, but also the possibility of moving between them. The author brings readers to the idea that not only earthlings can visit other planets, but their inhabitants can quite easily come to us.

It's interesting 

The work of Lucian of Samosata (an ancient Greek writer who lived (about 120 – after 180 AD)) "True Story", describing, in particular, a trip to the Moon and Venus, had a significant impact on the formation of such a literary genre as science fiction.  Usually this work is referred to as "the first known text that can be called science fiction," but it is not really such, because it was written in response to the work of Antonius Diogenes, whose protagonist also reached the Moon.

Lucian and fifty of his associates sail west through the Pillars of Hercules (Strait of Gibraltar) to explore the lands and their inhabitants across the ocean. Because of the strong wind, their ship goes off course. After 79 days of wandering around the ocean, the team finds itself on an island. After going deep into the island, the team notices a copper pillar, and on it a Greek inscription that reads: "Hercules and Dionysus have reached this place." Next to the pillar, they see two footprints, each measuring a pletre (31 m). A little further on, they discover a wide (perhaps even navigable) river of wine, originating from vines growing along the shore. The vines turn into women whose kisses are intoxicating.

Shortly after the travelers leave the island, their ship picks up a swirling whirlwind, and seven days later they arrive on the moon. There they are caught by the local inhabitants - horseshoes, who take the heroes to the king - a man who was carried away by the wind from Earth to the Moon while he was sleeping. There they find themselves embroiled in a full-scale war between the King of the Moon and the King of the Sun for the colonization of the Morning Star (the king came up with the idea to collect all the poor inhabitants of the Moon and relocate to the Morning Star, which is an uninhabited desert). During the fighting, the heroes are captured.

The war is finally ending. The victorious inhabitants of the Sun build a huge wall on the Moon, blocking the light, but after peace negotiations they demolish it and exchange prisoners. The heroes who have returned to the moon express a desire to return home.

Returning to Earth, the travelers find themselves swallowed by a giant whale, in the belly of which there is land, trees, birds and even people who are at war with each other. So the team lives in the whale for a year and eight months. Then they are attacked by huge people traveling on islands instead of ships and using forests instead of sails. After the battle ends, the heroes decide to escape from whale captivity. At first they decide to dig a hole in the whale, but they realize that this is a long job. Then they make a huge bonfire to bake the whale from the inside. When the whale dies, they get out and swim on.

They swim to the sea, consisting of milk with grape shores. Having gained strength on the island, the heroes go further and meet people with cork legs who easily run on the water.

Then the heroes find themselves on the island of the Blessed. There they meet many heroes and famous personalities. After the time allotted for them to stay on the island, the heroes set sail again. They encounter islands from which a terrible stench of burning sulfur and asphalt can be heard, and people are tortured on the islands themselves. The next shore visited is called a Dream. There are many temples and shrines on it, and it moves away as the ship approaches it. Then the travelers deliver Calypso a letter given to them by Odysseus. Then they are attacked by robbers. At the very end of their transformation, they discover a chasm in the Ocean, but eventually swim around it, discover a distant continent and decide to explore it. The plot of the book ends abruptly, and the author (Lucian) says that their adventure on the new continent will be described in the following books.

Phenomena in artwork: The Alien

Aliens in the work presented by the inhabitants of the moon, which flew heroes.

But first, let's describe the whole concept of traveling to the moon. It took place on a regular ship and lasted a week:

Around noon, when we lost sight of the island, suddenly came a whirlwind, and spinnin our ship, lifted him up to a height of about three hundred furlongs and then lowered, but not at sea, and left high in the air. The wind struck the sails and blowing them up, drove us on.

Seven days and as many nights we sailed through the air, on the eighth saw the space in front of us some great land, which was similar to the shining and a spherical island, and emitting a strong light.

Travel between the celestial bodies (stars, planets and comets) is quite fast and simple.

The author also described the Ground as she saw the heroes from the lunar surface:

At the bottom we saw some other land, and her cities and rivers, seas, forests and mountains. And we guessed that downstairs in front of us was the land on which we live.

The inhabitants of the moon, the author describes in the following way:

Canecorso nothing like men riding vultures and ruling them as horses. These vultures of enormous size, and almost all have three heads. To give an idea of their magnitude, suffice it to say that each of their tail feathers longer and thicker than the mast on a freight ship.


Kapustkina, which are huge birds, feathers is completely overgrown cabbages, and the wings, which strongly resemble the leaves of this plant.

Next to them lined Prematurely and Chesnochnitsy.


There they have the family of people named "drevenice", which occur as follows: a person is cut right testicle and sits in the ground. Out of it grows a huge tree fleshy, resembling a fall and covered with branches and foliage. The fruits are acorns a cubit. When the acorns are ripe, they are taken, and from them hatch people. The genitals they have ladders, and some of them made of ivory, from the poor of the same wood, and with their help between the spouses and the intercourse and fertilization.

Women have the SELENITES (moon inhabitants) no. Men marry men. Children are not their hatching in the stomach, and in calves: after you conceive one calf starts to get fat, and after some time, the thickening is cut and removed from it a dead child, which will come to life if I put it with my mouth open to the wind.

The author describes in detail not only the appearance of the SELENITES (completely bald, without nails, with inset eyes and back over the build-up in the form of cabbage), but also the peculiarities of their food (fried flying frogs and drink the dew). After his death they vanish into thin air.

The author points out that the Sun also inhabited, like the Moon and it is ruled by king Phaethon. In the Sun live Morawiecki, Vozdukhoplavanie and Staplegrove:

Morawiecki represent riders at the enormous winged animals, different from our ants only in their size. The largest one was the size of two plethra. Fighting not only the riders but also the ants, mainly horns. Their number was determined in fifty thousand. On the right wing lined up to Air the Mosquitoes, the number of fifty thousand, all the arrows riding a huge mosquitoes. Behind them were Vozdukhoplavanie, devoid of shells, but very warlike infantry. They are metal from a distance the enormous turnip, and amazed they were to die and the wound it was something stinking smell. They say that they dipped their weapons with poison mallow. Behind them lined Staplegrove — man army, who fought hand to hand, the number of ten thousand. Stablegirl they are called because their shields are mushrooms, and spears, the stems of spare.

The author was not spared and Sirius:

Near them stood the Dog-Acorns, who were sent to help the Phaeton inhabitants of Sirius, in number five thousand. These were men with dog faces fighting on winged acorns.

In addition, the author points out the whole inhabited constellation:

In addition, was still allies with the Big dipper, in the face of thirty thousand Bloghostingov and fifty thousand Microbial. Of them Blogocracy rode the great fleas, from which it got its name. These fleas were the size of twelve elephants. Veronica were pedestrians and raced through the air, although they didn't have wings. They achieve this in the following way: their long descending to foot clothes, they belt so that the wind blows their sail, and they race then just the boat.

Comets, according to the authors, is also inhabited. From his description we learn that the residents of long-haired comets.

Alien technology is clearly greater than that of earth. For example, the author describes a kind of telescope with the ability to not only watch it, but listen:

If you go down this pit, you can hear all that is said in our land. If you look in the mirror and sees all cities and Nations, just they are in front of you.

Translated by «Yandex.Translator»

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