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Using “Ancient Greeks” in this context doesn’t seem too unreasonable, in the sense of “Greek-speaking province of the Roman Empire”.

Greek was also the lingua franca of philosophy, mathematics, etc. in the Eastern Mediterranean for several centuries. If we are talking about astronomy, it is also e.g. common to call Ptolemy a “Greek” astronomer, even though he lived in the Roman province of Egypt.




Well, the Ptolemys were actually Greek though, more specifically Macedonian, and descended from one of the leaders of an army that created the Hellenistic era. I'm not sure we can equate them with a scholar who just happen to speak the same language if we're doing so to qualify people as "Greek".

I also feel the need to point out how hilariously pedantic this conversation is, and how much I enjoy that.


Different unrelated Ptolemy (it was apparently a common name at the time; according to Wikipedia he was a Roman citizen but it’s not known whether he was ethnically Greek or Egyptian). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ptolemy vs. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ptolemaic_dynasty

According to Wikipedia, it is speculated that Lucian’s native language may have been Syriac (Aramaic). But then all of his writing was done in Greek, mostly while he was living in Athens (after a lawyer/philosophy professor career traveling around the Roman empire). https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucian


Fair enough.

When I hear "Ancient Greece" I generally think of Greece through the Hellenistic period. Though now that I've said that, Lucian would have lived through the Roman annexation of Greece.

Really, my point was Lucian lived at the more recent end of antiquity. Humanity's knowledge of the world around them was quite a bit different then than 500 years prior.




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