Edited by Oliphant Smeaton
den Ass of Apuleius is a clever sketch of contemporary manners in the second century, painting in vivid colours the reaction that had set in against scepticism, and the general appetite that prevailed for miracles and magic.
Finally, ancient satire may be said to close with the famous Dialogues of Lucian, which, although written in Greek, exhibited all the best features of Roman satire. Certainly the ethical purpose and the reformative element are rather implied than insistently expressed in Lucian; but he affords in his satiric sketches a capital glimpse of the ludicrous perplexity into which the pagan mind was plunged when it had lost faith in its mythology, and when a callous indifference towards the Pantheon left the Roman world literally without a rational creed. As a satire on the old Hellenic religion nothing could be racier than The Dialogues of the Gods and The Dialogues of the Dead.
It is impossible in this brief survey to discuss at large the vast chaot