Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Oxford Classical Dictionary. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 07 October 2022

Lucilliuslocked

Lucilliuslocked

  • Lucia Floridi

Summary

Lucillius was a Greek epigrammatist who lived under Nero. He is the author of about 130 scoptic (“satiric”) epigrams in the Greek Anthology. Many are jokes about physical types (old and/or ugly women, smelly people, hairy men, small and thin people), moral vices (the miser, the slob, the parasite, the glutton, the thief), or professions (astrologers, doctors, poets, rhetors, philosophers, actors, singers, etc.); others are clever parodies of inscriptions celebrating athletic victories. Most of Lucillius’s targets—stock characters, not individuals—bear speaking names. His epigrams are composed according to a variety of structures—from parodies of inscriptions, to second-person addresses, to anecdotes/short stories—and they are characterized by hyperbole, paradoxes, and surreal images. His style is informal, influenced by common speech on both a lexical and a syntactical level, but it is also capable of elevation in diction through the creation of sophisticated neologisms, the adoption of poetic forms, and actual poetic quotations. Lucillius’s work strongly influenced contemporary and later authors, both Greek and Latin; among these are Martial and Ausonius.

Subjects

  • Greek Literature

Updated in this version

Article rewritten to reflect current scholarship.

You do not currently have access to this article

Login

Please login to access the full content.

Subscribe

Access to the full content requires a subscription