In Search of the Sorcerer's Apprentice. The traditional tales of Lucian's Lover of Lies
by Daniel Ogden
ISBN-13: 978-1-905125-16-6 ISBN-10: 1-905125-16-X, hardback, 230pp, 2007, GB£45.00
In Search of the Sorcerer's Apprentice is the first book in English to be devoted to Lucian's Philopseudes or Lover of Lies (c. 170s AD). It comprises an extensive discussion, with full translation, of this engaging and satirical Greek text with its ten tales of magic and ghosts. One of these is the famous story of The Sorcerer's Apprentice, and this conveys the flavour of the rest. In other tales a plague of snakes is blasted with a miraculous scorching breath, a woman is drawn to her admirer by an animated cupid doll, and a haunted house is cleansed of its monstrous ghost.
The Philopseudes stands at the intersection of three of the liveliest fields in the study of antiquity: magic, traditional narratives, and the Lucianic oeuvre itself. Ogden's cross-fertilising expertise in all three of these fields enables him to build sophisticated analyses for each of the tales and to place them sensitively in their historical, cultural and literary contexts. Among the themes of the work are Lucian's methods of adapting motifs from traditional narratives, and the text's overlooked Cynic voice.
The author Daniel Ogden is Professor of Ancient History in the University of Exeter. His books include Greek and Roman Necromancy (Princeton UP, 2001), Magic, Witchcraft and Ghosts in the Greek and Roman Worlds (OUP USA, 2002), Aristomenes of Messene (CPW, 2004) and (ed.) A Companion to Greek Religion (Blackwell, 2007).

1. The Chaldaean snake-blaster
2. The Hyperborean mage
3. The Syro-Palaestinian exorcist
4. The animated statue of Pellichus
5. Eucrates' vision of Hecate
6. Cleodemus dies before his time
7. Eucrates and the ghost of Demaenete
8. Arignotus and the haunted house)
9. Democritus and the wags
10. The sorcerer's apprentice
Bibliography and abbreviations