In 1505 and 1506, More and Erasmus found a world of profit and delight in turning some of Lucian of Samosata’s writing into Latin. More translated the Cynicus, Minippus, Philopseudes, and Tyrannicida, and both he and Erasmus wrote declamations replying to the latter work—the only surviving example of literary competition between the two friends. More’s Latin versions of Lucian provide valuable evidence of his tastes and scholarship a decade before Utopia was conceived, and they have an important place in the development of his literary career. Except for two letters, these translations and More’s reply to Tyrannicida are his earliest extant Latin prose compositions and were the first to be published. In his lifetime, they were printed more frequently than any other of his writings, even Utopia. In this volume, the first scholarly edition of this material, More’s Latin translations of the Cynicus, Menippus, Philopseudes, and Tyrannicida are accompanied by facsimiles of the Greek edition More probably used. An English translation of the dialogues appears in the Appendix. The volume also contains More’s dedicatory letter to Ruthall and his declamation in reply to Lucian, with the editor’s translations of both. Mr. Thompson also provides full textual notes, a bibliography, and commentary. In his introduction, he discuss the various texts of More’s translations and, in tracing the history of More’s interest in Greek and in Lucian, he considers the significance of these early exercises in More’s literary career.
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