Centaurs at the Symposium: Two Types of Hybridity in Lucian

  • Megan Hancock


Two dialogues of Lucian are discussed in order to further evaluate the critique of contemporary philosophy that so often pervades the author’s satirical works. In Lucian’s Zeuxis and Symposium, the reader is offered two distinct ‘versions’ of the hybrid animal. In the first instance, the traditionally uncivilised centaur is portrayed as almost human in nature and representative of successful hybridity, while the hybrid philosopher-sophist is a corruption of the ideal form.

Megan Hancock is a PhD candidate at the University of Tasmania, and her research interests are primarily focussed around the figure of Lucian. Her doctoral thesis assesses the role of hybridity throughout Lucian’s works, and to demonstrate the means by which this theme informs his critique of the philosophers of the Second Sophistic. She is the 2018 recipient of the Tasmanian Friends of the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens Greek Scholarship, allowing her to study in Greece in the later part of the year.