LucianIn existographies, Lucian (c.120-190AD) (IQ:175|#250) (Cattell 1000:387) (FA:32), or “Lucian of Somosata”, was a Roman satirist, skeptic, Epicurean admirer, and Greek scholar, the “Voltaire of antiquity” (Hengel, 1977) (Ѻ), retrospectively classified an atheist, noted for []

In 165AD, Lucian was in the audience of a funeral oration of Peregrinus Proteus (c.95-165AD), aka “Peregrinus” (Holbach, 1770), a Greek cynic philosopher, who when done speaking then committed suicide by cremating himself, on a funeral pyre at the Olympic Games; Lucian, later described Peregrinus as follows: (Ѻ)

“Peregrinus strangled his father to death; became a Christian so that he could gain wealth; was imprisoned so that he could gain notoriety; gave his inheritance away so that he might gain favour among the people of his home town; studied under Agathobulus so that he could become more obscene; attacked the Romans to become famous; and killed himself to become infamous.”

In c.170AD, Lucian, in his Passing of Peregrinus, gave one of the first secular, i.e. real person, accounts of the existence of Christians as a distinct actual faith common to a group of people who considered each other brothers; the gist of which is as follows: [1]

“The Christians, you know, worship a man to this day—the distinguished personage who introduced their novel rites, and was crucified on that account. … You see, these misguided [deluded] creatures start with the general conviction that they are immortal for all time, which explains their contempt of death and voluntary self-devotion which are so common among them; and then it was impressed on them by their original lawgiver that they are all brothers, from the moment that they are converted, and deny the gods of Greece, and worship the crucified sage, and live after his laws. All this they take quite on faith, with the result that they despise all worldly goods alike, regarding them merely as common property.”

Alternative translations are as follows:

“The efficiency the Christians show whenever matters of community interest like this happen is unbelievable; they literally spare nothing. And so, because Peregrinus was in jail, money poured in from them; he picked up a very nice income this way. You see, for one thing, the poor devils have convinced themselves they're all going to be immortal and live forever, which makes most of them take death lightly and voluntarily give themselves up to it. For another, that first lawgiver of theirs persuaded them that they're all brothers the minute they deny the Greek gods (thereby breaking our law) and take to worshiping him, the ‘crucified sophist’ himself, and to living their lives according to his rules. They scorn all possessions without distinction and treat them as community property; doctrines like this they accept strictly on faith. Consequently, if a professional sharper who knows how to capitalize on a situation gets among them, he makes himself a millionaire overnight, laughing up his sleeve at the simpletons.”
— Lucian (165AD), “The Death of Perigrinus” (Casson 1962 translation) [2]

“That first lawgiver of theirs persuaded them that they are all brothers the moment they transgress and deny the Greek gods and begin worshipping that ‘crucified sophist’ and living by his laws. They scorn all possessions without distinction and treat them as community property; they accept such things on faith alone, without any evidence. So if a fraudulent and cunning person who knows how to take advantage of a situation comes among them, he can make himself rich in a short time while laughing at these foolish people.”
— Lucian (165AD), “The Death of Perigrinus” (§13) (Ѻ)


Lucian, in retrospect, by the time of the renaissance, was generally classified as an atheist; theists, e.g., would often hurl the label “slave of Lucian” or “student of Lucian” as a type of perceived derogation at their opponents; the following is one example:

Erasmus, you foster in your heart a Lucian, or some other pig from Epicurus’ sty who, having no belief in god himself, secretly ridicules all who have a belief and confess it.”
Martin Luther (1525), On the Bondage of Will [3]

Toland is the Lucian of our times.”
— Author (1722), “Obituary”

In the renaissance, theists used the label "slave of Lucian" or "student of Lucian" as an atheist slur.

Quotes | By
The following are noted quotes:

“What blessings that book creates for its readers and what peace, tranquility, and freedom it engenders in them, liberating them as it does from terrors and apparitions and portents, from vain hopes and extravagant cravings, developing in them intelligence and truth, and truly purifying their understanding, not with torches and squills [i. e. sea onions] and that sort of foolery, but with straight thinking, truthfulness and frankness.”
— Lucian (c.170AD), satire against Alexander of Abonoteichus (who burned a book of Epicurus)

1. Passing of Peregrinus – Wikipedia.
2. (a) Lucian. (165AD). “The Death of Perigrinus”; in: Selected Satires of Lucian (translator and editor: Lionel Casson) (pg. #). Transaction Publishers, 1962.
(b) Stephens, Mitchell. (2014). Imagine There’s No Heaven: How Atheism Helped Shape the Modern World (pg. 41). St. Martin's Press.
3. (a) Luther, Martin. (1525). On the Bondage of Will (De Servo Arbitrio). Publisher.
(b) Watson, Philip S. (1969). Luther and Erasmus: Free Will and Salvation (pg. 109). Westminster.
(c) Hecht, Jennifer M. (2003). Doubt: A History: The Great Doubters and Their Legacy of Innovation from Socrates and Jesus to Thomas (pg. 276). HarperOne.

External links
Lucian – Wikipedia.
Lucian’s view of Christians –

TDics icon ns