Lucian, True Story 2.20-22 passim.

How to quote this translation

M = reading of the whole MS tradition
m = reading of part of the MS tradition
P = reading on a papyrus

20. Οὔπω δὲ δύο ἢ τρεῖς ἡμέραι διεληλύθεσαν, καὶ προσελθὼν ἐγὼ Ὁμήρωι τῶι ποιητῆι, σχολῆς οὔσης ἀμφοῖν, τά τε ἄλλα ἐπυνθανόμην καὶ ὅθεν εἴη, λέγων τοῦτο μάλιστα παρ’ ἡμῖν εἰσέτι νῦν ζητεῖσθαι. ὁ δὲ οὐδ’ αὐτὸς μὲν ἀγνοεῖν ἔφασκεν ὡς οἱ μὲν Χῖον, οἱ δὲ Σμυρναῖον, πολλοὶ δὲ Κολοφώνιον αὐτὸν νομίζουσιν· εἶναι μέντοι γε ἔλεγεν Βαβυλώνιος, καὶ παρά γε τοῖς πολίταις πολίταις m: πλείστοις m οὐχ Ὅμηρος, ἀλλὰ Τιγράνης καλεῖσθαι· ὕστερον δὲ ὁμηρεύσας παρὰ τοῖς Ἕλλησιν ἀλλάξαι τὴν προσηγορίαν. ἔτι δὲ καὶ περὶ τῶν ἀθετουμένων στίχων ἐπηρώτων, εἰ ὑπ’ ἐκείνου εἰσὶ γεγραμμένοι. καὶ ὃς ἔφασκε πάντας αὑτοῦ εἶναι. κατεγίνωσκον οὖν τῶν ἀμφὶ τὸν Ζηνόδοτον καὶ Ἀρίσταρχον γραμματικῶν πολλὴν τὴν ψυχρολογίαν. ἐπεὶ δὲ ταῦτα ἱκανῶς ἀπεκέκριτο, πάλιν αὐτὸν ἠρώτων τί δή ποτε ἀπὸ τῆς μήνιδος τὴν ἀρχὴν ἐποιήσατο· καὶ ὃς εἶπεν οὕτως ἐπελθεῖν αὑτῶι μηδὲν ἐπιτηδεύσαντι. καὶ μὴν κἀκεῖνο ἐπεθύμουν εἰδέναι, εἰ προτέραν ἔγραψεν τὴν Ὀδύσσειαν τῆς Ἰλιάδος, ὡς οἱ πολλοί φασιν· ὁ δὲ ἠρνεῖτο. ὅτι μὲν γὰρ οὐδὲ τυφλὸς ἦν, ὃ καὶ αὐτὸ περὶ αὐτοῦ λέγουσιν, αὐτίκα ἠπιστάμην· ἑώρα γάρ, ὥστε οὐδὲ πυνθάνεσθαι ἐδεόμην […] 22. προϊόντος δὲ τοῦ χρόνου ἐνέστη ὁ ἀγὼν ὁ παρ’ αὐτοῖς, τὰ Θανατούσια. […] ποιητῶν δὲ τῆι μὲν ἀληθείαι παρὰ πολὺ ἐκράτει Ὅμηρος, ἐνίκησεν δὲ ὅμως Ἡσίοδος. […]

20. Two or three days had barely passed, and going up to the poet Homer when both of us had some spare time, I asked him, among other things, where he came from, saying that this was a matter of particular enquiry among us even to the present day. He said that he was not unaware that some think he is a Chian, some a Smyrnaean, many a Colophonian; but actually, he said, he was a Babylonian, and among his fellow citizens he was not called Homer, but Tigranes; later on he changed his name, after he was taken hostage among the Greeks. And then I also asked about the athetised lines, whether they had been written by him, and he said that they are all his own. I therefore condemned the work of Zenodotus’ and Aristarchus’ followers as pure nonsense. When he had responded to these questions adequately, I asked him why he had started with the wrath (of Achilles), and he said that it came to him like this, with no specific reason. And I also wanted to know this: whether he had written the Odyssey before the Iliad, as most people say. He said he had not. That he was not blind, which also is said about him, I understood at once: for he could see, and therefore I did not need to ask […] 22. After some time had passed the local games took place, the Games of the Dead. […] Among the poets, Homer was far the best, in truth, but Hesiod won anyway. […]

Relevant guides Homer