The received order in which Lucian's works stand is admitted to be entirely haphazard. The following arrangement in groups is roughly chronological, though it is quite possible that they overlap each other. It is M. Croiset's, put into tabular form. Many details in it are open to question; but to read in this order would at least be more satisfactory to any one who wishes to study Lucian seriously than to take the pieces as they come. The table will also serve as a rough guide to the first-class and the inferior pieces. The names italicized are those of pieces rejected as spurious by M. Croiset, and therefore not placed by him; we have inserted them where they seem to belong; as to their genuineness, it is our opinion that the objections made (not by M. Croiset, who does not discuss authenticity) to the Demosthenes and The Cynic at least are, in view of the merits of these, unconvincing.
(ii) About 160 to 164 A.D. After Lucian's return to Asia.
The Portrait-study, a panegyric in dialogue, 162 A.D.
Defence of The Portrait-study, in dialogue.
A Trial in the Court of Vowels, a jeu d’esprit.
Hesiod, a short dialogue.
The Vision, an autobiographical address.
(iii) About 165 A.D. At Athens.
Pantomime, art criticism in dialogue.
Anacharsis, a dialogue on physical training.
Toxaris, stories of friendship in dialogue.
Slander, a moral essay.
The Way to write History, an essay in literary criticism.
The next eight groups, iv-xi, belong to the years from about 165 A.D. to about 175 A.D., when Lucian was at his best and busiest; iv-ix are to be regarded roughly as succeeding each other in time; x and xi being independent in this respect. Pieces are assigned to groups mainly according to their subjects; but some are placed in groups that do not seem at first sight the most appropriate, owing to specialties in their treatment; e.g. The Ship might seem more in place with vii than with ix;
but M. Croiset finds in it a maturity that induces him to put it later.
(v) Influence of the New Comedy writers.
The Liar, a dialogue satirizing superstition.
A Feast of Lapithae, a dialogue satirizing the manners of philosophers.
Dialogues of the Hetaerae, a series of short dialogues.
(vi) Influence of the Menippean satire.
Dialogues of the Dead, a series of short dialogues.
Dialogues of the Gods, a series of short dialogues.
Dialogues of the Sea-Gods, a series of short dialogues.
Menippus, a dialogue satirizing philosophy.
Icaromenippus, a dialogue satirizing philosophy and religion.
Zeus cross-examined, a dialogue satirizing religion.
The Cynic, a dialogue against luxury.
Of Sacrifice, an essay satirizing religion.
Saturnalia, dialogue and letters on the relation of rich and poor.
The True History, a parody of the old Greek historians,
(vii) Influence of the Old Comedy writers: vanity of human wishes.
A Voyage to the Lower World, a dialogue on the vanity of power.
Charon, a dialogue on the vanity of all things.
Timon, a dialogue on the vanity of riches.
The Cock, a dialogue on the vanity of riches and power,
(viii) Influence of the Old Comedy writers: dialogues satirizing religion.
Prometheus on Caucasus. p. xvii
The Gods in Council.
(ix) Influence of the Old Comedy writers: satire on philosophers.
The Ship, a dialogue on foolish aspirations.
The Life of Peregrine, a narrative satirizing the Cynics, 169 A.D.
The Runaways, a dialogue satirizing the Cynics.
The double Indictment, an autobiographic dialogue.
The Sale of Creeds, a dialogue satirizing philosophers.
The Fisher, an autobiographic dialogue satirizing philosophers.
(x) 165-175 A.D. Introductory lectures.
A literary Prometheus.
(xi) 165-175 A.D. Scattered pieces standing apart from the great dialogue series, but written during the same period.
The Book-fancier, an invective. About 170 A.D.
The Purist purized, a literary satire in dialogue.
Lexiphanes, a literary satire in dialogue.
The Rhetorician's Vade-mecum, a personal satire. About 178 A.D.
(xii) After 180 A.D.
Demonax, a biography.
Alexander, a satirical biography,
(xiii) In old age.
Mourning, an essay.
Dionysus, an introductory lecture.
Heracles, an introductory lecture. p. xviii
Apology for 'The dependent Scholar.'
A Slip of the Tongue.
In conclusion, we have to say that this arrangement of M. Croiset's, which we have merely tabulated without intentionally departing from it in any particular, seems to us well considered in its broad lines; there are a few modifications which we should have been disposed to make in it; but we thought it better to take it entire than to exercise our own judgment in a matter where we felt very little confidence.